Guilt loops

Guilt is the emotion that you feel when you believe you have failed to live up to your own moral standards. It is perhaps the most enervating emotion. It makes you want to curl up in a little ball to block it out and avoid it.

~ Jean Moroney from, https://www.thinkingdirections.com/dealing-with-earned-guilt-loops/

This raises an interesting question for me. There’s a lot I’ve considered in how I think when I’m depressed. (I mean, thinking when I’m not depressed, about how I think when I am depressed.) There are a lot of valuable ideas and actionable things in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. For all my efforts though (including professional therapy), I’ve never thought that guilt might be a source. I’ve surely considered it in passing. That phrase up there, “your own moral standards,” however slaps hard. Because I have insanely (using that word in the literal sense), high moral standards for myself. Seems to be that notching down to extremely high moral standards, and paying close attention to adding a modifier, “aspirational,” might be a wise maneuver.

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I am aware

This makes an argument for two particular life skills:
1) Learning to notice the feeling of wanting something, without buying the mind’s story that it is necessary for happiness, and
2) Learning to pay attention to the present moment without habitually evaluating it — analyzing how it could be better, more secure, cleaner or fairer or otherwise more gratifying.

~ David Cain, from http://www.raptitude.com/2014/05/the-missing-ingredient-to-happiness/

I’ve spent so much time—all of my life so far in fact—trying to figuring it out, that it’s probably impossible to believe myself when I think I have something figured out.

The present moment is perfect, and I am blissfully aware of the present moment. I could write a full page right here and now detailing the last moment. And in the past, I’ve done exactly that in my journal as a pop quiz to verify that I “get this.”

Meanwhile my problems remain, and they are quite real. I’ll not share details because this blog is about me and my journey, not the others in my life. Suffice it to say that I am simply serving out my remaining days. They’re very nice days, to be sure, full of very nice moments which I enjoy. But those enjoyed days and moments aren’t related to making progress on the problems because they are orthogonal ideas.

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