Guilt, Mothers and Daughters – Break Free of This Gruesome Threesome

By Val Boyko • December 28th, 2011

got guilt?Mothers making daughters feel guilty has been coming up in conversations lately. It must be the Season! If you got the gift of guilt from your mother for Christmas this year, then you won’t want to miss our next posts and article about guilt.

What is guilt? Why does feeling guilty feel so bad? Why do people use guilt on each other? How can we break free of it?…..

I’m no expert, so I turned to someone who is – Dr. Doris Jeanette. I learned a lot from Dr Jeanette, and have added a new article about breaking free of guilt in the Mother Whisperers Resources section.

You can also click here to read Dr. Jeanette’s article on Living a Guilt Free Life and access other resources on her website.

Here is the essence of what I’ve learned:

  • Guilt is not a real emotion. Guilt is caused by thinking that we have done something wrong. We think we have done something wrong because we judge ourselves or someone else judges us. A child does not “feel guilty” until someone tells her that she has offended someone or hurt someone’s so called “feelings.” When a child is judged in this way she feels “bad” and unworthy. “Feeling guilty” is a conditioned response to being judged, not an authentic emotion.
  • Judging is a defense mechanism. We judge others in order to feel better about ourselves. When someone judges you it is because you have triggered their own internal judgment about themselves. You are a mirror reflecting back something they are not facing. And so, they say or do something that makes them feel more in control and puts you down… which then triggers your own insecurities and judgments about yourself.
  •  Behind every judgment are unmet needs. Once we look at what the needs are that are not being met – our own and our mother’s, we can start to break free of our own critical judge.
  • Recognize  what is going on within yourself. If someone judges you and you feel guilty, then they have triggered your own judging self.  It’s all about you – not them! When our needs are met and we accept ourselves just the way we are (rather than making ourselves wrong or “bad” or never good enough) then we can free ourselves from guilt. The more accepting of ourselves and the more authentic we are, the less guilty we will feel.

I hope you agree that this is powerful – and useful stuff! Look out for most posts on how to deal with these critical conversations and the steps you can take to finally to break free of guilt.

 

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Comments

Good idea I’m gonna try it

Oh, yes. I live in a constant state of guilt! (Thanks, mother.) Her response was always, “Well, if you feel guilty, you must have done something wrong.” It took me way too long to realize I would never please her, so I would always feel like I never did enough or did things right. It made her feel all-powerful, having that kind of control over me, because she needed to feel superior, dominant and in control (especially of me) at all times. I realize now that she had a deep-seated resentment towards her mother and some things about me reminded her about her mother. Since she felt it was unacceptable to release this anger at her mother, she seemed to think it was perfectly Ok to direct it at her daughter. If only I would have realized this long ago, but since I doubted my opinions too much, I didn’t.

 

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