Responsibility and Guilt

I was reading a book on pet health. I was surprised, but not surprised to learn that most people feel a bit guilty over their pet’s death. Virtually all owners felt they should have done something differently or done more. It is as if we expect that we are more than human to our pets. It is as if we think we are God and should make no mistakes.

I think it is interesting that the person writing states that this is true even of people who do everything.

We can always second guess ourselves. Sometimes we can’t control everything. Sometimes our pets die. This is true in life as well.

We can do what we can to be responsible, but sometimes we have to ask, is it reasonable to expect ourselves to have had certain information at the time to make different decisions? How reasonable is it to expect that we should have known? Finally, would we hold another person to that same standard?

Feeling are always subjective and as such we create stories about what those feelings mean. If we just let them move through and be, perhaps we wouldn’t hang on to feelings like guilt and shame for quite so long.

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