Posted by: Marie | May 3, 2010

(304) Guest Post: The Guilt Sentinel

Post #304

Guest Post

Carla Dippel

Carla Dippel

Today, I am honored to publish a guest post written by Carla Dippel of beautiful Alberta, Canada. Here is a bit of information I pulled from her own blog:

“Since I was very young, I have searched for what would truly make me happy. I tried being a good girl, pleasing my parents, pleasing my friends and relatives, going to Sunday School, giving of my time and talents at church, Christian school, being ‘accomplished’, being popular, being smart, getting a degree, having boyfriends, getting my own home, being thinner, being prettier, having hobbies, having more friends, having less friends, being a leader, consulting everybody else, pleasing EVERYBODY.

“I labored furiously, always putting the cart before the horse. The answer to my ultimate question ‘How can I be happy?’ has been whispered in my ear many times along my travels. Within the last few years, I have been able to hear the answer more and more clearly: real happiness lies in accepting, knowing, that I am valuable just as I am, with no strings attached and no extra dressings, and that there is a definite purpose and meaning for my own unique life. Walking in this truth has changed everything, giving me the courage to replace despair and depression with hope and joy.

“I love to cook, dance, write and grow in knowing what is good and true about this life. As I emerge from broken, I delight in being a distinct and adventurous woman, living my life to the full, exploring new possibilities and making my dreams a reality.”


The Guilt Sentinel

It’s an honour to be able to contribute to this blog; thank you Marie for inviting me to do so! As I’ve read through your posts I have found you to be an insightful, huge-hearted and ambitious woman with so much to offer.

As a means of introduction, I am approaching the tail end of a four-year process of recovery from a history of abuse more obscure than others. My past involved psychological abuse, the abuse of withdrawing, emotional neglect. In a nutshell, I never learned in my youngest years what I believe every human needs to know in order to thrive: that I was valuable, loved, and loving just as I was, simply in being my own unique self. In recovering this truth and working to rebuild the foundations of my belief system, I am discovering a life of freedom and joy that I never knew before. I write regularly on the blog “Emerging from Broken” ( about my recovery and my take on what it means to be whole.

Throughout these past four years I have been shocked to discover how much guilt had permeated my life. It had almost become a way of life for me, dictating my choices, my interests, my daily life habits. It had crept into my decisions in the grocery store, the clothing store, what I wrote for my Facebook status, how I interacted in my relationships, with men, with God, in business decisions. Guilt. Such a heavy, suffocating thing. It tied itself around my heart and squeezed. It especially seemed to do this when I was on the verge of taking steps towards real freedom. An invisible chain with a familiar voice would jerk at my feet as they moved ahead and I would be pulled back into this small box with limiting walls created by other people and extra-terrestrial “rules.”

Photo by Martin Chen

For example, guilt would tell me that I should invite a third friend for dinner out of fear of her being left out, even though I only really want to have dinner with one friend… This kind of guilt operates under the rule that real love always considers other people’s feeling as more important than my own. Guilt would tell me that I should change into a less attractive outfit because otherwise I’m being too “showy”, trying too hard to attract attention to myself. For me, this kind of guilt originates from the rule that it’s wrong to stand out above the crowd, that I should always be humble and never rustle the “status quo.” Guilt would tell me that I shouldn’t express anger at my brother when he treats me poorly. This kind of guilt comes from the belief that it is asking too much for me to stand up for myself, that I am not worth the effort of being treated well, and that real love never makes someone else feel bad.

Guilt was like a prison guard, keeping me within the confines of the only safety I knew. It patrolled the perimeters, guarding each door to the outside world. Through the process of my recovery, I uncovered the deep belief system that was necessitating these guards and thick, confining walls. The belief system said, “You don’t have what it takes to live beyond this prison. Your heart is messed up, not good, not reliable. You must rely on everyone and everything else outside of yourself to get through because yourself isn’t enough. Guilt will be that twinge of pain you feel every time you try to trust yourself and rely on your own thoughts and feelings. Guilt will keep you trapped here and rob you of the freedom beyond.”

Revealing this core belief and then coming to believe the real truth about myself has been the start of healing for me and the beginning of the end of my life of guilt (among other things!) As my heart grows stronger in understanding its true intentions and desires and knowing them to be good (not perfect, but good!), I am learning to take in and pursue all that life has to offer. I am breathing in the delicious freedom of being able to make my own choices, learn as I go, and move forward in new choices without the painful coping mechanism of guilt. For everyone else on this journey towards freedom, it was wonderful to have been able to share with you here, and I wish you the best of all courage, persistence and joy.


  1. Marie, thank you very much for letting me guest post here. It was a privilege to contribute and share my message on your blog~ I always appreciate your posts, your “spirit”, and your message whenever I visit here. Thank you again for this honor!

    Blessings to everyone here,

    • It is my pleasure and honor, Carla, to publish your guest post!

      I trust the people who read it will find great value in your words!

      – Marie

  2. Thank you for sharing your journey!

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