Guilt is the Fear of One’s Own Wretchedness #Educated #TaraWestover #Inspiration

Educated_Tara Westover

“But vindication has no power over guilt. No amount of anger or rage directed at others can subdue it, because guilt is never about them. Guilt is the fear of one’s own wretchedness. It has nothing to do with other people.”
― Tara Westover, Educated

This is one of my favorite quotes from Tara Westover’s memoir, “Educated.” It comes in the final words of the book about moving forward.

Forgiving yourself and accepting yourself are very similar. It oftentimes is about accepting your own actions and the circumstances you found yourself in. It is about coming to terms with what happened in the past and choosing a new path forward. There is a lot of work involved in making those new decisions, in choosing to do things differently.

You can change. You can make new decisions.

An important part of change is accepting yourself as you are. It isn’t about making excuses or ignoring the truth. It is about recognizing the truth and responding in a new way.

In order to change, you have to be able to see things as they really are. You have to be able to see things when they show up again to be able to respond in a new way. It is about self-awareness and empathy. It is about love, for yourself and for those around you.

– Jason



  1. “The most difficult person to forgive is yourself,” I once heard, and it is true.

    There is a difference, I believe, between failing yourself, and failing another. However, the blame always comes back to the self, once a closed door is between us and the person we failed.

    One dreads to look in the mirror, to see the stress that has marked our face. One desires the most to see the other, who one failed, and there is an overwhelming urge to desire forgiveness. A once-friend, to become a next-enemy has been perhaps the most painful thing for me, personally.

    Failing someone else, in terms of dependence, is painful enough. However, to doubt your own capabilities, when it comes to never failing again, always throws you into a hole.

    You’ll want to hide from the world, so that the world cannot see your failure.

    For why else does a person die, except to know that the one reason they died, is because they failed?

    “For all the battles we face, there will always be one that we lose,” I also once heard, and this is also true, considering that death is the singular moment of failure. It is the only time we’ve failed…

    Though, to live as though one has failed, to believe for oneself that one is not worth it for movement of their own limbs, is probably to have dug that hole, yourself.

    One simply has to keep moving, despite the pain and its taste. For I find that the taste of life is rarely sweet, unless it is treated in moderation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your thoughts are spot on, Jason. “There is a lot of work involved in making those new decisions, in choosing to do things differently.” And there is most certainly much to do in order to fully love yourself. Thank you for sharing this truth!

    Liked by 1 person

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