It’s a universal emotion. We all feel it. And I believe dealing with guilt is very important for our emotional (and physical) health.
Life is so diverse and full of so many different experiences that it’s impossible to go through life without accumulating guilt – no matter who you are! But hanging on to guilt serves no purpose.
The things you feel guilty about will probably be completely different to the guilt that I hang on to. It may relate to something “big” or not so big in the grand scheme of things – but that is irrelevant. All that matters is your perception of the events that created your feelings of guilt, and the effect that your ongoing guilt is having on your wellbeing. Overcoming guilt is about learning from our past actions, choosing different behaviour in the future, and then letting it go.
All guilt does is make us feel bad and keeps us stuck in the past. Feeling guilty about something is not going to change it, it will just drag you down – emotionally, physically and spiritually. We hang on to it as a way of punishing ourselves. We think we need to stay feeling guilty as a way of acknowledging our perceived mistakes.
In reality, the things we regret probably didn’t affect the other person or people involved near as much as we think they did. And the more we replay events over and over in our mind, the worse we seem to make them. It’s like the old Chinese Whispers game going on in our head.
Let it go. Be Free! Don’t be afraid to be yourself again.