The thing is, I don't really suffer from guilt. (my mother is really the only one who can make me feel it... sometimes without even a word...) BUT If you are a person who beats yourself up about such an event, an overeating, a loss of control at the pie table, than a holiday can really set you off... but its about control, guilt is... because I do have regrets about past things, things I didn't do, people that I hurt, times I spent hurting rather than moving on... but regret doesn't have that sense of responsibility that guilt does, a belief that 'we are in control, and we have failed in our responsibility'... I don't feel guilty for those things I did, just regretful... I feel it is water under the bridge - I made mistakes, I was mean, etc. but it is over, done, and the action is past, doesn't exist anymore.
I think it comes down to that control issue. I acknowledge that I don't have any control of the past, or for many (ok, all) of the things that happen around me, even now. Doing the laundry will not save me from an accident, for instance. I have to keep re-acknowledging that all the time. all. the. time.
And even, when I think about my mom and how guilty I feel around her, it is more of an outward push on her part, than a feeling a responsibility or failing on mine. I'm picking up on what she thinks, and not neccesarily how I feel. I spend a lot of time on 'preventative' actions with her, making sure she doesn't have any cause to use the guilt on me, and
at Quaker Meeting this week, i came to the realization that I can't actually imagine another response on my part to some of my spousal difficulties. I can't even imagine another reality. (and i was really stretching, looking) ... what that realization gave me, at least for this week, was a sense that maybe I should stop killing myself for my reactions, maybe its the only reaction I can come up with for a reason. (no, i don't know the reason:)
(i'm also aware how lame it might be, a laziness on my part, to believe myself 'right'... but it is a slight distinction here: i don't believe myself 'right' neccesarily, just willing to suspend my self-criticism for my reactions)... it is a change, thats all, and I'm glad anytime I let up on myself... I need a break sometimes.
Time for said break. clapclap BREAK....:)