Living with Guilt

I don’t know about anyone else but guilt has been a constant part of my life for as long as I can remember!!!Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 9.07.34 PMNo matter how hard I try I feel guilt in pretty much every area of my life – as a Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.26.56 PM

as a Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.27.36 PM

as Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.28.52 PMand even as a Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 9.28.08 PM

Growing up I carried a lot of guilt for various things and all of the responsibilities that I had while I was in high school.  

One thing that I’ve found helps me cope with guilt and even helps prevent it on occasion is making sure that I’m not dumping things off on others.

Last week before I left for my girls trip, I spent a day cleaning the venue and the morning I left ironing the tablecloths.  We had an event on Friday and I knew that there wouldn’t be time after I got back to town to do everything.

I know that Chris would have gladly done the work while I was gone but I also know myself – by getting everything done in advance I alleviated at least some of the potential for guilt in my life!!!

I know that pretty much every bit of guilt I feel I bring completely on myself but that doesn’t always prevent the guilt!!!

What are your tips for dealing with guilt?

Happy Monday!


101 thoughts on “Living with Guilt”

  1. I have always had the same problem. Sometimes to the point of making myself sick. I am really working through all of that. If I start feeling guilty about something in my past I tell myself that it doesn’t matter anymore…there is absolutely nothing I can do to change something that happened 45 years ago, 30 years ago, 15 years ago, last year, last month. Now, if I have affected another’s life, in the past several years I have attempted to make it right. Something about my mothers death really opened my eyes and helped me discover a new reality. I know I blamed her for a lot of my insecurities and unhealthy feelings about myself. But I’ve had to let that go and realize that it is the past and I can’t change any of it…just make sure I make different choices as a wife and mother. And you know what? I have! And I really like myself and who I’ve become…even if it took over 50 years. Love you bunches and thank you for the thought provoking question. Good therapy! Blessings!!!

    1. Cheryl, thank you for the thoughts!! I know you are exactly right – there is nothing we can do to change things from the past!!! I’m sad that you have lived with insecurities and any unhealthy feelings but so happy that you like yourself now!! I love who you are now!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

    1. Arman, interesting to get your input on this because so many of the other comments imply that this is something that women deal with more than men. Personally, I think that many men suffer from feelings of guilt but just aren’t open to admitting it!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  2. Awww Kim, this makes me sad….you are such a good person that you always feel the need to be better. My mum is the same way, but you are WONDERFUL as you are, so I hope you continue to learn to let it go :) Just like they say in frozen ahha….but I am guessing your boys have not made you watch that 😛

    Keep letting it go, and reminding yourself that worrying does not help any situations….it just is a vicious cycle….that often makes things worse!
    Tina Muir recently posted…Adapting to Weather Changes: HumidityMy Profile

    1. Tina, you are right – we haven’t seen Frozen:)
      I foo feel like I’ve gotten better at letting at least some guilt go than when I was younger.
      Thank you for your sweet words!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

    1. Coco, actually I went on vacation with guilt on my mind but I tried to ditch most of it while I was gone!!!
      I’m working on letting it all go but most days aren’t really that successful.
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  3. Oh how I wish I had some tips for you but I’m exactly the same way!!! I feel guilty about so many things – even when I feel like I take care of them beforehand, like you did with your venue. It’s so tough. I guess the best thing I can do is talk with my husband or friends about it – that usually makes me feel better and I can put it into perspective!
    Allie recently posted…BIG NEWS! I’m A Fly GirlMy Profile

    1. Allie, I think that many of us live with these feelings most of the time. I do try to talk to Chris and others but there are times that (without meaning to) these conversations have me feeling worse.
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  4. I think that, since becoming a parent, this is one of my worst characteristics. I tend to feel guilty no matter what, and it’s so silly. My husband? Never! We could both take a page from our mens’ books, huh?

  5. Wow—good blog!
    Oh Kim, I know how guilty I feel about many things too. For some reason, guilt just hangs around and keeps reminding me of things that happened in the past. I work hard at trying to remember that God is healer, forgiver and life giver–helping me remember He knows how hard I am on myself. I really think that prevents me from being my best- only to cause more guilt! Thanks for sharing- supporting and encouraging you!!!!

    1. Javonna, I think you brought up a very good point – sometimes the guilt is just holding us back and keeping us from bing our very best!!! I need to try and remember that more often.
      I wish we lived closer – miss seeing you!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  6. For me, guilt usually is associated with responsibility and obligations when it comes to family: not spending enough time with/not doing enough for – I often tell myself theres only so much that I can do – but it’s a battle – am working on balancing my guilt with what I can actually do…maybe one day I will :)
    Shashi @ runninsrilankan recently posted…Almond And Coconut BarkMy Profile

    1. Shashi, I agree – most of my guilt is tied to the feelings of thinking I’m not doing enough!! I know that it is self-induced so I try to just trust Chris (and others) when they say I shouldn’t feel bad but it doesn’t always work that way!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  7. I think it comes more with the territory of being a woman ~ especially when our roles change as we get older. As a single lady I never felt much guilt but, once married it hit …. Guilt can consume us and our every thought.

    I simply try to remind myself that “I am doing the best I can and I can’t be responsible for every thing or every one’s outcome!” 😉

    1. Kathy, I had different forms of guilt before I was a wife/mom – I truly can’t remember a time when I didn’t have some guilt in my life.
      I like your reminder to yourself – gonna have to start doing the same!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  8. Oh, Kim you should not feel that way at all. I learned to let it all go. I carry enough anxiety with other aspects of my life that I don’t need to burden myself with guilt. Practice makes perfect. Keep working at it and you will be free of it. To make it work, you have to really want to get rid of it.

    1. Kris, good idea – practice is what we do with all of our fitness endeavors so why not with something like this!!
      And, you are right – I have to make the decision to really want to git rid of all guilt!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  9. I think I’ve gotten better about this but when it comes to leaving the family to go enjoy myself, yes: GUILTY! And it’s totally brought on by myself. The Caveman is very supportive. Ugh. Must be a mom thing.

  10. Guilt gets me to do things I don’t want to do! Seriously, I end up saying yes to things and doing things that only add to my stress level because I feel guilty for not going. Like guilty for bailing out of a late night concert with friends or guilty for not feeling like going to a workout after work. It’s really hard combating guilt!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Boston to Cape CodMy Profile

  11. I’m thankful to have grown a lot in my ability to not feel guilty about a lot of things I used to, but I’ve heard so much about this ‘mommy guilt’ from so many of my new-mom friends, that I won’t be surprised if I end up struggling with guilt all-too-soon.
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted…{MIMM #4} Home Gym Wish ListMy Profile

    1. Jill, I’m sure that you are like me in that your husband always tells you not to feel guilty and yet….
      Some days I feel like I have less guilt and then all of a sudden I will realize that I’m still drowning in it!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  12. I experience wife guilt from time to time. I think it is because I will get legitimately mad about something, make a big deal about it (cause it is a big deal), then the next day feel guilty because I am over it, yet think back to how I made a big deal about it! Does that make sense???
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Rant: Jellyfish.My Profile

  13. Kim, I am so sorry to hear that you feel this way! I definitely sympathize. I am always, always apologizing for things. It’s my natural tendency to say, “I’m sorry” for everything. Adam tells me all the time to stop apologizing but it’s an instinct.

    Personally I think it’s a control thing for me. I need to know everything is going to go perfectly, and if it doesn’t I just assume that I could have done something better.

    1. Kristina, the funny thing is I don’t catch myself apologizing a lot (hmmm……). My oldest son is one who says “sorry” a lot!!
      I know that I have some serious control issues, too – I don’t think I’ve ever linked that to my guilt but it makes a lot of sense.
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  14. Wow! Sounds like at some point you really took the being a good girl message to heart! Of course if I had a husband and children I would be right there with you because I would want to be the best I could be for the people I love 100% of the time and nobody can possible do that.
    Cindy recently posted…Boredom: The Hallmark of SuccessMy Profile

  15. I do feel guilty sometimes, but I’m getting better at it. I often turn the tables on myself. So if I’m feeling guilty about not doing something for someone, I ask myself how I would feel if they didn’t do that for me. Usually I’m fine with it – I wouldn’t expect it, yet I expect myself to do it for others. Does that make sense? It helps me give myself a break.
    Dana recently posted…I’ve always been partial to BethsMy Profile

  16. I’ve actually been able to deflect some of those feelings of guilt as I’ve gotten older. Recently I had a client come over with a leotard that I’d made that had a hole under the arm. I was crazy busy trying to get other orders out and they’d had the leotard for months but needed it for that weekend. I refused to feel guilty that they hadn’t been organised to come over earlier and have it repaired. I was more than happy to do it but they needed to give me some consideration too.
    Char recently posted…Restored to PerfectionMy Profile

  17. This is fascinating, I had no idea how many strong successful women taking care of so many responsibilities were feeling guilty all the time! Something’s wrong here!

    Somehow I think the answer isn’t “Do more”, but perhaps “promise less?” And don’t expect anything near perfection? Because there are only so many things that can get done in a day, and you can’t be a superhero in all your different roles. But easier said than done I guess.

    Seems like expectations for what parents are “supposed” to do have gotten pretty insane since the days when I was a kid, and back then most of the Moms didn’t work.

    I am pretty terrible at getting to all my “to do” list stuff, and it sometimes makes me feel pressured or frustrated or inadequate… but not guilty! I yam who I yam, to quote Popeye.
    crabby mcslacker recently posted…Study: Fascinating Way to Beat PainMy Profile

    1. Crabby, the list thing was one of my biggest sources of guilt for awhile but lately I’ve started making a to-do list for the week instead of the day – seems to work better and not have me going to bed feeling like I’ve failed!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

    1. Tara, I think you are right on the mom guilt – it is because of our overwhelming love for our kids.
      Good idea on the other guilt – I will have to start trying that question!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

    1. Nellie, the times leaving home for longer than a work day always do it to me (probably to all moms!). I hope that you can enjoy your conference knowing that your boys are being well taken care of and will be happy to see you when you get back home!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  18. I grew up in a catholic household, so I get the guilt LOL! Now I don’t do religion, so that has helped with the guilt.
    All kidding aside, you just need to decide if what you are expecting yourself to do is more than you would expect someone else to do. If it is more, then you don’t need to feel guilty about it.
    Lori recently posted…Douple dip rideMy Profile

    1. Lori, I think that you are right about the expectations – I do expect more out of myself than anyone else (I think most of us do:) – but you’re right about the fact that we shouldn’t hold ourselves to such high expectations and then feel guilty when we can’t meet them.
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  19. Sometimes I think that’s what my anxiety is – guilt. I don’t know why. There are people who push my buttons in this life. I can honestly only think of two. Maybe it panics me to think that I want them to leave me alone.
    And I feel like I don’t measure up as a wife, mother, business owner but I’m not sure it’s guilt in those situations.
    Tamara recently posted…It’s My SITS Day, Part 2!My Profile

    1. Tamara, I agree that sometimes certain people push our buttons (I have one for sure and pretty much have very little to do with her).
      Interesting thought on the anxiety/guilt correlation.
      I think you are a wonderful wife, mom and business owner!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  20. I got angry with my mom this morning over something silly and this post made me think about it (and feel bad), so I just apologized to her. Sometimes guilt is good, but too much of it is definitely a bad thing. Honestly, when I feel guilty I try to figure out if it’s warranted, and if I think I really am doing the best I can, I try to distract myself. Perhaps not the best way of dealing with it, but it generally works!

    1. Amy, love that you apologized to your mom – sorry the post made you feel bad.
      I agree – some guilt can be a good thing as long as it doesn’t start to rule us!!! And, you are right – all we can do is our best!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  21. Oh my goodness! I totally get this. I think the one example of what you did would actually be a tip I have because I would do something similar and I do! Like doing something in advance to help me not feel so bad like I didn’t really do anything always helps . Talking to my husband about feeling bad about something almost always makes me feel so much better afterwards because he is so easy going and always makes me see why it’s not that big of a deal and how there is usually tomorrow if we live to see it. He is actually the reason why I have stopped being so hard on myself. I still have my moments, but talking about it helps so much! :)
    Brittnei recently posted…$50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway: Seeking #BloggersMy Profile

    1. Brittnei, you’re right – it does help to have someone to talk to and often the thing bugging us isn’t as big a deal as we think. Your husband sounds like mine – he will ask if this will really matter in 10 years or even 10 days!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  22. other than feeling bad for bailing on the cottage because that was a bit lame, i don’t feel any guilt at all. as a mother, we all do our best and as long as my daughter is happy, healthy, safe and loved, then i’m doing it right.
    kathy@vodka and soda recently posted…random updateMy Profile

    1. Kathy, I don’t think you should even feel guilty on bailing on the cottage – you knew that you needed that break over the weekend and it has probably made this a nicer week!!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  23. Hey Kim!! I’ve missed you and your thought-provoking posts! Guilt is a big one. I think there’s a form of guilt that can come from a good place and good intentions, and it’s important to understand the difference between that and the negative guilt. If someone is doing something that hurts another person, they deserve all the guilt they feel. But if the guilt is coming from a place of wanting to do more for people, I’ve found that forgiving oneself for being human can sometimes settle those feelings :)

    1. Charlotte, I really am glad you are back in the blog world!!
      And, I agree – some guilt can be constructive and helpful!! I think that forgiving myself is so much harder than forgiving anyone else!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  24. I always internalize things, and with the help of my husband, I am doing better about handling guilt. I used to wear it around my shoulders like a blanket.

    Instead of interpreting what people thought about this or that, I would clarify the situation, and 9/10 I would interpret it all wrong in the first place!

    1. Biz, I’m glad that Tony has helped you learn to deal with your guilt. I do think that getting clarification in lots of situations would help prevent a great deal of our guilt!!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  25. I don’t feel as guilty as I once did. I know I need a break now and again. Plus my husband is always telling me to do something for myself. So I shall! Just remind yourself that everyone needs a break or else they’ll go nuts.
    Amber recently posted…Hey, It’s Okay Tuesday!My Profile

  26. this is one i still struggle with. But I’ve learned to talk it out with a friend and then let things GO! Slowly but surely, we just need to talk out our guilt sometimes.

  27. Kim, you bring up a great subject that a lot of people struggle with but don’t talk about. Guilt is something I have struggled with all my life to and it sucks! Its not a healthy feeling. I am not sure what drives it. Thanks for asking for feedback as I have enjoyed reading all the comments and will take away a few of the tips. You seem like an amazing woman who has it all together so I can’t imagine why you struggle with guilt….

    1. Rhoda, I think that way more people (especially women it seems) struggle with guilt than we would ever imagine!! It is nice to see other people’s comments and what works for them!
      Kim recently posted…Living with GuiltMy Profile

  28. Guilt is definitely one emotion I am familiar with, only because I want to make everyone happy and gain approval instead of disappointment. Whenever I feel like I have or am going to let someone down, I feel guilty, which often dictates my decisions. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to manage this emotion better and recognize self-induced guilt versus legit guilt. I have also realized those who care about me and support me will approve no matter what my decisions are. Very interesting topic and one we all can relate to!
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Triathlon Training And The Cascade Cycling ClassicMy Profile

  29. I cannot really remember the last time I felt guilty. Probably because I am a crazy people-pleaser so I am always doing stuff for others, ha! I think when I do feel “guilty” though, I think to myself, “was what I was going to do really that important?” and “will it truly affect others if I don’t do it?” If it will, then I will do it… but if I know it really won’t change anything and/or a day later the person I did that specific thing for won’t even remember – then NOPE. I will not do it at all! HA!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Poppin’ Tarts In The KitchenMy Profile

  30. I struggle with this a lot. It started when I injured my back and couldn’t work. I relied on my husband to help me put on clothes and do pretty much everything even after he was at work for eight, sometimes ten hours. I felt horrible that I wasn’t “doing my part”.
    Then the whole postpartum depression thing/bipolar diagnosis and I was thrown into a new realm.
    I wish that I was easy on myself. My husband is a saint and never blames me for not pulling my weight but I feel terrible.
    My psychiatrist said that you only have to be good enough. Do what you can and be proud of doing it. It may not apply to you but I find it a bit comforting. xo
    Kimberly recently posted…In Two Hours, It Will Be 4 a.m.My Profile

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