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Guilt as a Placeholder

If Only...


When we have a loss, someone passes, grief can take several paths. The loss can be so big, we consciously and subconsciously find ways to merely be.

There are times we feel unresolved and roll around our feelings, thoughts, actions repeatedly. We have feelings of guilt. Second guessing ourselves is a normal thing. We assess things, we think things through, check our personal responsibility, and we learn. We consider how we would like to have shown up differently, responded differently, “If we only knew then what we know now.” The difference may be a fine line between regret and guilt, between taking personal responsibility and growing, from how we can assess things in retrospect to I'm going so deep into remorse that we get trapped in a loop playing again and again. When this happens, we're no longer learning, discovering or considering but we find ourselves going over the scene 100 times an hour, day after day. Memories become so involved in a way that we can no longer consider any memory without it being encumbered or even distorted by shame, remorse, heaviness - those Woulda Shoulda Couldas - the if only’s. This is a dangerous place.

Why? We can no longer experience most other aspects of our relationship, maybe no other aspects of the relationship with the one who passed, and also other relationships with those living in our circles. They don’t stand a chance of sharing another kind of moment with us that is unencumbered by this rumination of pain. Triggers seem to be hanging in the air almost always and everywhere. It can linger for years. No logic can get in, no joy can get in, no laughter, no smiles, at least not for long. This is different than feeling that profound sadness of the loss of a loved one and mourning the manner of their death.

Other people may try to give examples of how to release that guilt by pointing out what a good job we did, how we were there, all the ways that we showed up, the sacrifices we made, and yet inside ourselves, we can counter every single one of those things with something like yeah but it wasn't enough, if you only knew what I was feeling or thinking or how much more I could’ve done, if you were only there in that moment when we said those things. what we can't take back -

if only…

When do we need this Loop? If you remember in our first post, Worthy of Love, we introduced the idea of the mind doing what the minds does. Left to its own devices, our incredible design will do everything it can to match like-for-like or find a solution because, like our physical body rushes to mend a wound in the skin, the mind rushes to mend a wound in the unseen bodies of who we are.

Facing something that seems unsolvable, as enormous as the endless pain of loss, we might find a placeholder, and today, we are talking about guilt. Remember guilt is different than remorse, which is feeling a responsible sorrow as we review and grow from how we wish we approached things differently, right? This is a reflective place. Guilt as we know it here, is that deep rumination that tracks us further and further away from experiencing anything else that may be true (Remember: “What else is true?”-video) and so I'll give you this question again to break the loop, “What else is true?”

You may not be able to convince your exquisite, protective mind that what it grabbed onto as part of your guilt is not true, so don't try. Instead, ask yourself what else is true and allow your mind to create a new list. Allow your mind - spirit system some spaciousness. Give it a job. Your mind - spirit gave itself a job to protect you from or gently ease you into the vastness of your loss as the rest of your whole being is reorganizing and trying to make sense of this, that is so difficult to make sense of.

Part of us leaves with them. Our sadness is deep. Our loneliness is deep. It is not all a loneliness for them, but who we are with them, how we reflect ourselves in each other, in and through each other’s Divine Spark. We miss who we are with and through them. We do not need to leave, to die with them, we can live, live with them. Keeping alive who we are when we are with them is keeping them alive, their unique spark, through us. Equilibrium is a stillness, recognizing the Wholeness of being all things at once. We are with them, not with them, as we were when they were living in the flesh. And we carry on being more of ourselves for knowing them.

Sign up - I invite you to join the Inner Community for expanded, free content. You're welcome to stay right here and follow the series through the blog and get updates through social media. The community has a private group available as the series grows for online grief support. What’s inside? Among other things, the first post has an extra video that goes in more depth and a handmade journal tutorial, and this unit includes and Mp3 meditation and breath work. It is not a sales funnel. It will include simple early bird content and offers included in some to the material.

As always, I am available to support you. Please be in touch by email or visit my website. We are never as alone as we may feel.

In kindness,



Begin now. Every now is new.

Rev. Dr. Birdi Sinclair

Grief, Trauma, & Wholeness Specialist,

Relationship Communications Coach,

Love Maverick

Ama la vita d’altro

אהבת לרעך כמוך

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