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Suggested steps to overcome guilt
Step 1: You can recognize the role guilt is playing in your life by choosing a current problem and answering the following questions in your journal:
a . What problem is currently troubling me?
b . Who is responsible for the problem?
c . Whose problem is it, really?
d . What did I do to make this problem worse for myself?
e . How much guilt do I feel about this problem?
f . How much does the guilt I experience exaggerate or exacerbate my problem?
g . If I felt no more guilt what would my problem look like then?
If the answer to question ``g'' is that your problem can be solved by reducing guilt, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Redefine your problem with the absence of guilt as an issue.
In answering the questions in Step 1 you recognized that guilt was preventing resolution of the problem. To redefining your problem, answer the following questions in your journal:
How insurmountable is the problem?
Is this problem an interpersonal or intrapersonal problem?
If it is interpersonal: Can I help the other person and myself to set aside guilt and resolve this problem?
If it is intrapersonal: Can I set aside guilt or the fear of it and resolve this problem?
Does this problem have more than one solution? Can others and myself experience satisfaction, comfort, and resolution with a minimum of debilitating guilt?
Whose problem is it, really?
Is it my problem or another(s)?
Am I taking on another's responsibility?
Am I trying to keep another from experiencing pain, hardship, or discomfort?
Step 3: If the problem is really someone else's, give the problem back to the person(s) to solve and to deal with.
If the problem is yours, go to Step 4.
Step 4: You must confront the real or imagined guilt or fear of guilt preventing you from either handing the problem back to the person(s) whose problem it really is (Step 3) or from handling the problem on your own. Consider the following:
a . What fears are blocking me at this moment from taking the steps I need to resolve this problem?
b . What are the irrational beliefs behind these fears?
c . Refute the irrational beliefs using the steps given in the ``Handling Irrational Beliefs'' section two in Tools for Personal Growth.
d . Initiate a program of self-affirmation as presented in the "Self-Affirmations'' section 3 in Tools for Personal Growth..
e . Use an imagery scenario with ``guilt'' as an object you packaged in a nice box. It is brought to a mountain top and thrown off a cliff for good.
f . Affirm for yourself that:
You deserve to solve this problem.
You deserve to be good to yourself
You deserve to have others be good to you, too!
Step 5: If your guilt is not resolved after completing Steps 3 and/or 4, return to Step 1 and begin again.
I'm confused. Is the unborn baby the problem? Maybe we need to stop looking at babies as problems.
When I was pregnant at 17, there was only one person that told me congratulations. That was the nicest thing that anyone could have said to me. I make sure to say it to every girl that gets pregnant by accident.
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