Understanding And Overcoming Guilt to Improve Your Self Esteem

Guilt is a feeling that many of us carry. But we rarely admit it. You don’t realize it but it is the one thing that can destroy your life. It can make your life devoid of any pleasure. Hence know that you are a victim of guilt and let go of it to make your life happy and fun filled.

As an infant we are entirely relying on our parents to fulfill oru needs of security and love. If due to some limitations of your parents they weren’t able to provide you these, you may have a guilt feeling in you. You childhood is the time when you from impressions about a lot of aspects of the world. If you didn’t receive love, you will feel that love is a resource which is very scarce and may even feel that you don’t feel to be loved. The family we have been brought up in and the bonding among us if weak can cause us to nurture two kinds of feelings.

1) My parents didn’t do justice to me
It is very easy to feel so when our needs don’t get fulfilled. We end up disrespecting parents, blaming them for all that is lagging in our life.

2) I didn’t give my parents what they deserved
This second conclusion is much more surprising and destructive because it is the source of huge amounts of guilt. The amount that we feel we have been let down in our relationship with our parents is balanced by the amount we believe we have failed them. This is one of the most important things we can ever learn about relationships. Even as children we take on a great responsibility for the quality of our relationships, particularly with our parents and siblings. If anything is going wrong in the family we will tend to blame ourselves.

Both these conclusions, usually held subconsciously create guilt and this can become accentuated later in life as we blame ourselves for letting other people down, say in romantic relationships or work situations. We feel guilty about failing relationships and at the same time the pain for lose family bonding also nags us. We blame the family for everything wrong happening in our life. Hence guilt is a feeling that is a result of complex relationships gone bad in our childhood.

The famous psychoanalyst Freud provided us with another concept - Oedipal guilt. Based on the Greek myth of Oedipus, where a son killed his father, and married his mother. Although such relationships are difficult to accept, given their societal taboos, most people are familiar with cases where a child is very closely attached to the parent of the opposite sex. When this happens the other parent feels excluded and that they have lost the love of their partner. This sets up a competitive triangle in which all parties have deep, suppressed guilt. This is felt strongly (for instance) where a son is guilty for having stolen his father from his mother. The same thing can happen between fathers and daughters. Many psychologists believe that the experience of being part of a triangle as children is replayed in our adult relationships in the form of affairs.

When you carry so much of guilt you tend to have very low self esteem. As a result, you create your own world and remain it it. You feel that you don’t feel deserve to receive any love from anyone. We deliberately behave in a way which drives love away from us and over a period of time we may become oblivious of love and care in this world. This is indirectly obstructing us from moving ahead in our life.

Although we made these choices about our self-worth many years ago, guilt acts as a backdrop to our adult lives. Many people are not even aware that it is the guilt they nurture that is making their life worse. It manifests in your attitude, thinking and even action. A person who has guilt will have a lack luster life – devoid of friends, relationships, peace and satisfaction.

To get rid of your guilt try to understand the situation in your family then. Try to recognize that it was you who has had incorrect impressions about your family. Your parents tried their best to give you the best in whatever they could. They loved you no matter what, but may have expressed it in a way you could not decipher. Even under the most difficult circumstances they provided you the best. Find a way so that you can forgive yourself and people who may have hurt you.

Above all you must find a way of forgiving yourself and the people around you for what happened all those years ago. As you do this, you will regain your child like innocence and can start seeing the world through a child’s eyes.

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