Do you feel a level of guilt thinking about what you should, shouldn’t have done when your furbaby’s was dying or had died? Many people have told me that they do feel guilty about their furbaby’s death. Guilt is a fairly useless emotion, yet it has a powerful hold over us humans. Guilt gets in the way of healing and happiness. So I’d like to talk to you about ways to get over guilt and offer ten tips to deal with it.
What is guilt?
Guilt is a very difficult emotion to define. It’s a feeling that I should have done something, should be doing something, should not have done something.
If you’ve done something genuinely wrong, committed a crime or intentionally hurt someone, then your guilt would be justified. But most of us feel guilty because of our uncertainly about all the ‘shoulds’ and ‘shouldn’ts’ in our lives. What is okay? What isn’t okay? Everyone has a different answer. Who has the ‘right’ answer? I don’t know. But I do know that carrying all this guilt around with you every day is bad for your health—mentally and physically.
How to stop feeling guilty
I’d like to share with you three of my suggestions for dealing with guilt:
#1. Above all else, learn to forgive yourself.
So many people have said to me that they feel guilty after their furbaby has died. Is this you? Maybe you think you didn’t spend enough time with him, and now he’s gone. Maybe you weren’t there to comfort or protect her when she died. Maybe you made the decision to have her put to sleep. Write down what it is you feel guilty about.
Then ask yourself, How can I forgive myself and let it go? Perhaps it’s prayer that will release you, perhaps it’s writing a letter to your furbaby about what you’re going through, maybe it’s talking to someone (even a professional counselor) that will help you through this. At some point, you need to say out loud and with conviction, I acted out of love, and I forgive myself. You’ll be amazed at the lightness and freedom doing this can bring.
#2. Recognize that a feeling of guilt doesn’t always mean that what you did was wrong.
When it comes to euthanasia, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. There is only ‘what do I think is best, coming from a place of love, for my furbaby at this point in time.’ That’s not a question anyone else can answer. Yours is the only answer that counts.
Euthanasia is not ‘wrong’. Your timing of euthanasia also cannot be ‘wrong’. Because there is no ‘right way’ or ‘right time’ here. There is only the love in your heart that you have for your furbaby. So eliminate ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ from your thinking, your vocabulary. It simply doesn’t apply. And if you feel guilty because you think you didn’t spend enough time with your furbaby, the same applies to you.
#3. Start a guilt journal.
This is a truly powerful tool for healing. Something ‘magical’ happens between thinking the thoughts in your head and transferring those thoughts onto paper. In a very real way, you are releasing all those guilt thoughts from inside of you, gradually reducing their hold over you, until you are free of them.
So, every time you feel guilty about something, write it down in your journal. Write the time, the day, what you feel guilty about. Go back and reread this journal every couple of weeks to find the trends in your guilt. This will provide clues to the source of your guilt that will enable you to better deal with its underlying roots.
#4 to #10. Download the ebook below
Download the Be Free From Guilt ebook (free)
The above are just 3 methods for dealing with guilt. For the entire ‘getting over guilt’ program, download my FREE “Be Free From Guilt” ebook.
Guilt will only hinder you, it will not help you.
I want you to be happy. Your furbaby wants you to be happy. And, most important of all, I think you want you to be happy.
So please, be kind to yourself. –BJxx
About the Author: BJ Burman
BJ Burman is a writer, researcher, healer, advisor and teacher. All through her childhood and adult life, she has shared her life with animals, every one of them dearly loved. She is also a passionate supporter of animal rights and animal conservation.
In addition, BJ has always been interested in spirituality and religion, both academically and personally. When she became personally involved in Eastern philosophy and religion, she became specifically interested in death & dying (and what really happens to us).
Over the years, she has studied and researched the subject of death & dying, and the associated grief, particularly from a spiritual perspective, under the guidance of respected Buddhist, Hindu and Christian teachers from the USA, Britain and Australia. These great traditions, have so much to teach on the reality of life and death.
BJ has worked in the education sector for nearly 20 years, as a teacher (particularly in a pastoral care role) of adolescents and adults, helping them to not only navigate their path in education, but also navigate their way through personal life obstacles for the happiest outcomes.
Bj holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, a Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Graduate qualifications in Linguistics/TESOL, Masters in Comparative World Religions and is a published author for national and international magazine print publications in the field of health and well-being.
It seems only natural to her to combine her love of animals with her interest in death & dying to create a genuinely compassionate and supportive forum for humans who must say good-bye to the animals they love so much.
It is BJ's deep desire to provide guidance and comfort for humans to help their beloved animals live and die in peace.