Let go of guilt!

 

 

 

 

 

Guilt is a funny thing, we can feel guilt even when we are not to blame. At some point we make a decision to carry the blame perhaps because we are ill informed, confused or have a tendency to self-blame. This in itself can be dangerous because we run the risk of taking on the responsibility for circumstances that have no bearing on our actions.  Whether a thing is true or not, once a person believes it, it becomes their truth. Their truth helps to shape the way in which they perceive themselves and others around them.

The definition of guilt as found in the Oxford Dictionary:

1. The fact of having committed a specified or implied offence or crime
2. A feeling of having committed wrong or failed in an obligation

I have struggled with guilt at various stages of my life. In some cases I was to blame for my actions and in others I was not, however I chose to hold onto guilt which led to me feeling bad about myself as a person.  Guilt can eat at you, little by little. It impacts on your self-esteem and self-worth.  It often feels like a heavy burden hanging over your head – whichever way you move you cannot get rid of it. I liken it to those who suffer from depression when they speak of a dark cloud hanging over them following them wherever they go.

Guilt can hinder you from moving forward and enjoying your life as it is today.  It can consume you and take away your joy. In worst cases a person can self-destruct when life is going well as deep down they believe they do not deserve to be happy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How then can we begin to remove guilt from our lives?

1. Ask yourself why you are feeling guilty. Think about the part you played in the given situation. What exactly led to you taking on guilt?

2. Accept that you cannot change the past. It has gone and you have to find a way to move on. Take responsibility for the part you played- own it. Denial does not bring healing, only a false sense of security.

3. Learn to forgive yourself. You are not perfect, you will NEVER be perfect.  We all act out, saying and doing the wrong things when our emotions get the better of us.

4. Do not be too hasty in over committing yourself.

5. Think about the expectations you place on yourself. Are they realistic? Are you constantly pressuring yourself?

6. Learn from your experience. Do not make the same mistake again. You are older and wiser, therefore better informed to make the right decisions.

7. Speak to someone whether a counsellor or a confidant. When we open up about sensitive issues in our lives, it brings an element of freedom and takes away shame.

To round up, feelings of guilt come to us all. We can decide to carry the guilt or allow it to move on.  We are not always in control of the circumstances we find ourselves in, therefore it is wrong for us to hold up the banner of guilt.

How do you deal with guilt?
What do you think contributes to guilt?

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16 thoughts on “Let go of guilt!”

  1. It’s had to get rid of guilty feelings. Just this week I inadvertently missed a scheduled lunch date. I’ve never done that before and my lunch companion was very understanding. I called and apologized and sent her a note of apology. But I still feel guilty. I’ll be OK, but, as you said, I have to accept that I’m not perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, guilt! It sure can consume us. I’ve certainly had my share of battles with letting guilt win or beating the daylights out of it. It’s a tough battle, but I think we each need to come to terms with the things we’ve done that we truly have cause to feel guilty about and then go on from there. Good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Phoenicia. Generally, I don’t let guilt run or ruin my life. But right now, I am living with a personal situation in which my husband is trying to “guilt” me into taking him home from the Personal Care Home at which is now residing. the nurses say they see this kind of behaviour frequently from new residents, and it is extremely difficult for family members. I can only pray that the situation is soon resolved, and we can enjoy guilt-free visits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience Doreen. It sounds like a challenging situation. I hope you are able to resolve this whilst keeping the peace with your husband.

      Like

  4. I think guilt can be exacerbated by being around blamers and people who are habitual personal responsibility avoiders. If one is especially susceptible to guilt, one might be especially vulnerable to following their weaknesses to their own ruin. I guess to sum up: If you have a tendency to take on unneeded guilt; stay away from the blamers.

    Liked by 2 people

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