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Guilt Is Useless

by Anthi Psomiadou 2 months ago in advice

Leave Ogygia. Your Ithaca is waiting, Odysseus(or whatever your name is)

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

The suitable reaction to a situation you have to handle is always the one that you have. It’s suitable for that moment, for the “you” you are at that moment and for a specific lesson that that “you” has to learn.

So, guilt is useless.

Saying that “If I had chosen differently back then, I would have succeeded” or “…I would have been happy” etc. is one of the easiest things in the world.

How convenient! What a good “prophet” you are now that you saw what happened after a past decision and you don’t like it!

Things would have been different, yes. Because another action would have started a different chain of events. But, if you say that a specific thing would have happened, NO. This is an illusion. You can’t know that.

Every decision of the past was the best you could make as the person you were back then. Take responsibility, reflect, explain, learn, and move on.

Don’t caress yourself. Don’t put yourself on a repeating trial either.

Just face the facts and yourself directly and say that the person you were back then thought this was the suitable (re)action. The person you are today sees it from another viewpoint. So, the next time you have to deal with a similar case, act as the “you” you are today (whenever this today will be).

You realized. You are aware. You transform the handling.

Stop the pirouettes around the “mistake”.

Acknowledging unsuitable handling of past events doesn’t mean doing repeated circles around the memory, never bringing results. This is just avoidance of doing the necessary work.

The Greek word for regretting is “μετανοώ”, which means “I put thinking on a behavior of mine after I have manifested it” (the ideal would have been to think the behavior while you manifest it, but …one step at a time). I use my noetic tools and my critical thinking, I observe, I “palpate” what I did.

In order to be AWARE. Not to flatter myself or to put me on a trial. But to realize what I’ve done and why.

Digging in after that is, of course, necessary. But digging to conclude, to deal with it, to understand myself, to bring the automated unconscious behavior into the field of my consciousness.

Just repeating in my head the fact that I made a mistake, has no value. It is useless. Also, let’s not forget that when you characterize something from the past as a mistake within the present, you do it with the criteria you have “now”. Back then, you were a different person. So, you have to judge that decision within the context it was made, not the context of today.

  • Within that context, did I have the suitable response?
  • Were there any signs that I missed?
  • Did I rush the decision-making process though there wasn’t an urgent deadline?
  • Did I use all my tools or just the upheaval I felt at that moment?

If after that kind of questions you conclude that you could have acted more suitably, say to yourself directly what changes you have to do until the next time you have to deal with a similar situation.

And that’s it. Full stop.

Then, move on.

Guilt is just another Calypso who wants to keep you on her island, in some kind of enslavement dressed up in the costume of a distorted definition of love.

And you, Odysseus, have the mission to …return to Ithaca. Dealing with Calypso is one of the struggles and gifts of the journey.

Deal with it. Your Ithaca is waiting.


Note: In Greek mythology, Calypso( =she who conceals) was a nymph who lived on the island of Ogygia, where, according to Homer’s Odyssey, she detained Odysseus for seven years.

The name “Calypso” derives from the Ancient Greek καλύπτω, meaning “to cover”, “to conceal”, or “to hide”. According to Etymologicum Magnum, her name means “concealing the knowledge”.


Anthi Psomiadou — CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International : Credit must be given to the creator/ Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted/ No derivatives


Anthi Psomiadou

Writing, Life coaching, Criminology, and more. But I simply do these, I am not these. I just am.

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