October 29, 2019 at 10:20 am #13925Cystic Fibrosis News ModeratorModerator
To beat survivor’s guilt, columnist Brad Dell helps as many people as he can. However, he’s starting to realize that saying no is a valid form of self-care. Click here to read more from Brad.
Do you ever felt this kind of guilt? If so, why do you think it happens? And how do you manage it? What do you do to deal with it?
November 13, 2019 at 2:01 pm #13959Paul met DebbieParticipant
When my parents were young, they had two children. One of them had cf and died at the age of 7. It is very likely that this death somehow contributed to my parents having two more children later, one of which is me. So, survivors guilt could have been my thing from the very start of my life. Only, it isn’t. Why not?
Because I don’t make up stories like this in my mind. You can live your life in two ways. The first is, living like everything is about you, and then a thing like survivors guilt could very well be constructed. It is the story in your mind that you are alive, and someone else is not, and that these two happening are connected. What is the connection: Your imagination, your thought that they are, that somehow this is about you. Then another story can come in, connected to the first, that you now have to do something (or don’t) to make up for this terrible un-equality that you (imagine you) are connected with. So, the story of the Helper can arise (like it did for Brad). “If I help others, I can pay for the unbearable guilt I feel because I have been favored so much by still living while someone else has died”. This help, however beneficial to those receiving it, and however well meant, basically is not spontaneous, it comes not from the bottom of your heart, but from guilt, from thoughts, from your mind, it is egoic. It creates a prison in which you are the Helper and some else is needed for you to fulfill this ego-role, this other person is the one who needs help (the poor Victim). Now both of you are imprisoned in this dynamic, which at base is purely egoic and not Samaritan.
It is very unselfish of Brad to finally realize that he has to come out of this imprisonment, that he has to free himself and all the ones he caught in his net of Helping too. Life will take care of life. Don’t put yourself in the middle of the universe, it’s an illusion. You can’t save the world. You can only save yourself. That is, heal yourself (from guilt, for instance).
“To make whole, be whole”. John Butler said this, you can look him up
https://spiritualunfoldment.co.uk , he is also on you-tube. A dear old and wise man, who once in his life when he was young also tried to save the world and finally found out that he should first have taken care of his own wholeness. And he worked the rest of his life on this, instead of saving the world.
You can’t go and help people coming from a feeling of guilt, superiority, inferiority, destiny, duty, calling or whatever imagination of your mind. Not even a state of mind where you imagine yourself to be a totally selfless helper of others will do: it will still be about “you, the helper being selfless” – but it will be egoic nevertheless. You can only help from truth, for that you have to be pure of heart and free of mind. To be so, you have to live your life entirely differently: you have to live like nothing is about you. Miraculously, when the ego drops, you will see that life (which Is you) will take very good care of you by itself, without any doing or thinking on your part. And everyone in your life will benefit from this also, without effort. Life takes care of itself. It will be the best sleeping aid you will ever have.
That’s the second way of living. Go for it Brad, it’s never too late to start.
May Grace be with you.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.