10 Reasons You Can Kick Guilt to the Curb


10 Reasons You Can Kick Guilt to the Curb

playful-828594_640You can't take a vacation but it seems you're constantly on a guilt trip. But that's a trip to take a pass on.

Here's why.

  1. It's not your fault. You didn't cause the decline, the disease, the dismay, the disappointment. You're not making it worse. Really, you're the one who makes it better, even when better means you simply hold your caree's hand.

  2. You are doing enough. Every day, you do what you can with what you have. Some days, you won't have enough. But that doesn't mean you aren't doing enough.

  3. You are standing in the middle of the deepest, scariest, messiest playing field you'll find yourself on. And, you're still in the game. Some of your shots will miss. That's not important. You're still out there trying, which means you will score. Missed shots help you perfect your shot. Don't feel guilty for the misses; be grateful for how much they teach you.

  4. You didn't cause the problem—you're simply searching for a solution to a situation which can't be resolved easily. Sometimes the best solution is the toughest one you are courageous enough to take.

  5. You are only human, which means you will make errors. No matter how discouraging the mistakes, you keep going. How can you be guilty when you're willing to get back out there?

  6. When you weigh the moments you weren't your best against the moments you are your best, your best moments win. We just tend to focus on the wrong side of the scale. You have so many moments when your best got your caree the best. Those are the moments that matter.

  7. You are often making decisions in the dark simply because you can't find the light switch hidden in the corner. You make the best decisions with the information and support you have at that moment. When you have different information and support, you can choose a different decision. You can't feel guilty for choosing the best option from a limited (and often awful) list of choices.

  8. Your patience will run out. It's the reality of such a challenging situation. You'll have moments when you snap. It's only a signal that you need a break--it's not proof that you are a bad person. Because you are a great person.

  9. You are in the toughest spot anyone can imagine. You must keep your caree as safe and as well as possible. And, sometimes that means making your caree (and other family members) unhappy. Empathize with your caree but don't feed into the guilt. You're doing as much as you can to keep your caree as safe and as well as possible. How can you be guilty when you have that kind of goal?

  10. Guilt will suck up your energy during an experience that requires every ounce of energy you can muster. Don't give your energy to guilt--give it to forgiveness, starting with yourself first. You've got a heavy load to carry. Forgiveness helps keep the load manageable.

What would you add?

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Great words! Unnecessary guilt plagues most of us. Thank you for offering a better perspective!


Talk about a great set of affirmations! You are so gifted at this Denise! Thanks for yet another wonderful list to read and re-read.


I'm so glad you found it helpful <a href='http://www.caregiving.com/members/MovieGoer/' rel=\"nofollow\">@MovieGoer</a>! And, yes, please share! I'd love it if you would. :)


Denise, this is absolutely beautiful! I am so grateful you wrote this. It is very timely for some things my whole family is going through related to my mom's dementia. I will pass this list along to my family and dad, if that's alright with you. I am very grateful for your insight and energy you devote to all of us out here!


I admit I take on a lot of these burdens, and it's gets me into such a funk. Perhaps it's my controlling nature, or the fact I'm doing this all solo. I think the loneliness adds heavily to the guilt. I take it personally inward that other(s) would help if I'd just be a better person. Then, I'm doubly exhausted, eventually pass out and have to catch up again.