Everyone at one time or another is going to go through moments of guilt. Submissives may have added self-guilt when you break a rule or upset your Dominant. These things are going to happen as you develop and grow in your role and your life. It's hard to believe but no one is perfect.
What is guilt?
- Feeling of responsibility for negative circumstances that have befallen yourself or others.
- Feeling of regret for your real or imagined misdeeds, both past, and present.
- A sense of remorse for thoughts, feelings or attitudes that were or are negative, uncomplimentary or non-accepting concerning yourself or others.
- Feeling of obligation for not pleasing, not helping or not placating another.
- Feeling of bewilderment and lack of balance for not responding to a situation in your typical, stereotype manner.
- Feeling of loss and shame for not having done or said something to someone who is no longer available to you.
- Accepting of responsibility for someone else's misfortune or problem because it bothers you to see that person suffer.
- Motivator to amend all real or perceived wrongs.
- A Strong moral sense of right and wrong that inhibits you from choosing a "wrong" course of action; however, you assign your own definitions to the words.
- Driving force or mask behind which irrational beliefs hide.
The First Step
The first step to resolving guilt is recognizing guilt. It may seem a stupid step but guilt is stealthy. It comes in the middle of the night and takes up residence, even without our noticing it.
I remember my first really bad mistake with my Master. Even after the punishment was over, I wasn't done punishing myself. He had moved on and I continued to mope around living in the idea that I had displeased him. I didn't realize it was guilt though. I just thought I was feeling bad for being bad. I let it get so bad that I couldn't enjoy the play and sex that we had later on. I was still stuck on the mistake I had made.
Answer the following questions in a journal.
a. What problem is currently troubling me? b. Who is responsible for the problem? c. Whose problem is it, really? d. What did I do to make this problem worse for myself? e. How much guilt do I feel about this problem? f. How much does the guilt I experience exaggerate or exacerbate my problem? g. If I felt no more guilt what would my problem look like then?
This recognition could be enough to drop the self-flagellation. If it doesn’t, at the very least it gives us permission to heal, to take the next step and let go of the pain.
Let Go of the Pain
Welcome the pain in, accept the feelings you are having and let go of the shame associated with it. Feel the sorrow without acting on it. Our emotions are fluid and if we can just allow them to happen they will ease. And yet we fight it, deny it, pretend it doesn’t exist – and that keeps us blocked, weighs us down.
In your questions answered above, question 'g' should give you an opening into what the real problem is. This could help you see what is blocking you from resolving the problem.
Could it be that you haven't been punished for the mistake or had it recognized by your Dominant as an issue? Many times guilt can make the punishment work harder than it needs to, it can take a small mistake and make it a huge one. Allow your Dominant to know what you are feeling and release the responsibility of that mistake.
Punishment is a good way to resolve not only the problem but the guilt involved. I know on many occasions I asked to be punished for something I did that he didn't consider punish-worthy just because I had a lot of guilt behind it. The punishment was a way of purifying my emotions. It is possible that you are unconsciously asking for a resolution to come from someone else.
Lastly, make sure you affirm that you are good. You deserve to have the problem resolved, you deserve to treat yourself right and you deserve to be treated well. Meditate on the corrected behavior and find a way to prevent it from happening again. Atone for the mistake in a positive way and move on from the guilt.