How to Turn Guilt Into Gratitude

Gratitude changed to guilt
It is never too late to turn guilt into gratitude

Trying to turn Guilt into Gratitude…

It was a crushing news day. I read about a friends’ child dying. I heard testimony about ISIS and mustard gas. I learned that a close acquaintance had lung cancer. I realized that a colleague had enough money problems to have to abandon her craft. I watched a video of a brutal racially motivated crime and saw a photo of a man killing cats with a smile. I listened to Latino mayors talk about their cities being swallowed by the sea. Amongst it all are the testimonials of other Americans who think a man who spews hate should be our next president.

My response to the above?

Guilt.

I wrote a post about NAPPING. Of all of the carefree privileged topics on the planet napping may top them all.

But to react with guilt? 

It helps no one and changes nothing. I feel guilty just thinking about the inefficacy of my response

I have researched guilt in the past and come to some clinical conclusions. None of which matter if I can’t practice flipping the coin of guilt to the shinier side of gratitude.

Instead of guilt I will practice being grateful. I appreciate my health and relative wealth,  liberties that let me be liberal, a skin color that allows me to work within the establishment if I choose. I am grateful to be able to support organizations and individuals that work to create equality. I notice science and policy that is slowly beginning to shift towards taking care of the planet and I choose advocate for these changes.

I can stop napping and wake up to our flawed world and know that things can change in a second for the worse. Which means they can change for the better as well.  

I can celebrate that.

—-

What do you do with your guilt? What gratitude can you offer today.

Published by

Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

13 thoughts on “How to Turn Guilt Into Gratitude”

  1. I know what you mean about guilt being everywhere. But every day I appreciate that I was born British, in Britain to a caring, affluent family. And the feel guilty about that.

  2. That said, there’s nothing WRONG with napping. Or writing about it. It all connects, and connections make us care, caring develops our compassion, which allows us to be empathetic to cities being swallowed by the sea, and human suffering in worlds beyond our own.

    We’re love, at the core (so I’ve been told), and we should no more feel guilty for the accident of our circumstances than those in adverse conditions should feel responsible for theirs.

  3. What a thought provoking post! I had not truly thought about how guilty I feel about so many things and how this response is not helpful to anyone. Guilt makes bad choices. I think if we do our best to be true to ourselves, kind to others (without surrendering ourselves) and help out the world in any way we are capable of (big or small), we should try not to feel too guilty. Sometimes when the feeling catches me off guard (feeling so guilty about not being able to do more for those who have less) I have a minor emotional break down. I try to remind myself I am doing the best I can at the time with what I have.

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