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If We Keep This Up, We’ll Feel Guilty for Being Alive

I want to talk to you about this thing we do.

We all do it. I’ve been doing it an awful lot lately, and I think that over the last few years, it’s really had an impact on how I approach life.

So, this thing that we do – the way we feel guilty about feeling happy because there are shitty things happening to people in our lives. It’s not that we’re going around bragging and that’s why we feel guilty.

We have guilt for feeling happy. We feel guilty because something good has happened in our life, and in that exact moment, something negative happens to be happening in the lives of many people that we love.

A few months ago, a good friend of mine called me. This friend is one of the few people whose call I actually take even though I hate talking on the phone. She called me to tell me something but she didn’t want to make me feel upset.

I knew what the news was. I knew exactly why she called.

“He proposed?” I asked, with a huge smile on my face.

You may be wondering why she thought the news might make me upset. Because she’d spent a good part of the last year being my support for my own relationship coming to an end.

I’m glad she called me. I was flattered that she called me, because in this day and age, there are only a handful of people we call and tell individually before announcing to the world that we’re engaged with a relationship update on Facebook or an Instagram of our ring.

Her happiness gave me hope. Her happiness made me happy.

This is one of the scenarios when it was OK. She wasn’t bragging. She wanted to share her happiness, and guys, that’s a good thing. We shouldn’t feel guilty for being happy. We shouldn’t feel guilty that something is going right in our lives. We shouldn’t feel guilty for the little things that make us happy.

Should we share every single tiny thing that makes us happy with the world ALL THE TIME? Probably not. Especially if you’re me and are easily entertained by little things.

We should cherish and appreciate the good.

On the flip side…

Can we stop feeling guilty for being upset because something went wrong in our lives because we somehow feel the need to compare it to something that may seem worse in another life?

Shit happens. People in our lives get hurt. Our loved ones hurt.  Our loved ones lose their loved ones unexpectedly.

World keeps turning.

Your world doesn’t stop turning because someone you love is having something really awful in his/her life. We sympathize. We empathize. We let them know we are there but sometimes, there isn’t anything else we can do.

In the meantime, your life keeps moving forward.

You know what happens during your day? Good things, bad things and sometimes, unfortunately shitty things.

We have a tendency to feel guilt because we’re upset about something that happened in our lives. Why? Because if you compare it to something that is relatively worse in a friend/loved one’s life, we really shouldn’t complain because it could be worse.

As long as you are breathing, it could always be worse. 

I’m not saying complain about every little thing, but if you are upset because an event you were looking forward to got canceled, you shouldn’t feel guilty. Maybe that event was the one good thing you were looking forward to for weeks.

If we continue to constantly compare our feelings to everyone’s else, how are we supposed to feel? How are we supposed to process happiness, sadness, anger, and fear if we experience guilt for simply feeling? How can we process guilt as a pure emotion if we are constantly plagued by it due to this never ending comparison?

You guys, if we keep this up, pretty soon, we’re all going to start feeling guilty for being alive.

If we keep this up, we'll feel guilty for being alive

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Louise October 30, 2013, 4:42 am

    I stumbled across this post on your blog… really enjoyed reading it. Great advice, which I needed to remind myself about!

    • Berrak October 30, 2013, 8:46 pm

      Thank you!! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • AC May 21, 2015, 2:39 pm

    This is so true and something I struggle with. I think it is true for many people not just me.

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