It's unfair to punish your future for the mistakes you made in the past. Accept your flaws, learn from it and then let it go. ~ Mai Pham
We all screw up sometimes.
You, me, even the most perfect person in the world screw up.
Sometimes we just do stupid things, say stupid things to our significant ones. Sometimes we hurt people that we love the most.
Before we know it, words have been said, things have been done, people have got hurt. Nothing we could ever do to undo it.
We also try to defend ourselves from our tough-love voices, that we only mean well or we don’t have any intention to hurt them but the words just sound harsh, but deep down we know that we are guilty.
This happens a lot. Especially to your loved ones.
It seems like the closer they are to us, the more badly we hurt them.
And then we feel guilty. The guilt feeling haunts us, sucks the living soul out of our bodies and makes it impossible for us to truly enjoy our lives.
Here are few things to do to get rid of the guilty feeling and live your worthy life again.
Identify the pain you caused
So exactly what did you do to feel guilty and miserable?
Did you fail at keeping your marriage strong, at raising your children or being a good parent?
Did you do something stupid and hurt someone else or yourself?
Did you do something you shouldn’t, or didn’t do something you should?
We are addicted to self-punishment. Sometimes the initial thing that you are guilty of is too small to even make sense, so you dwell in the past and find more evidence, more mistakes to make yourself feel miserable, to have a good reason for being punished.
Don’t believe me?
I once said no to my poor sister about moving in with her, I felt guilty for not trying my best to help her. I beat myself up for considering about myself and my partner before considering her. I kept telling myself that I was a bad sister, a horrible person that didn’t help others while they were in need.
No matter how many times my partner told me that I deserved to live my life for myself, I didn’t believe him and I punished myself for it.
Identifying the pain will begin the forgiving process. When you understand the real root cause of your guilt, you can see clearly your feelings and expectations.
Know what you want
What is this that you want to deal with your guilt? Do you want to undo what you have done, or you want to start doing the things you should, or to make peace with others?
Sometimes you don’t want to reconcile with the person you hurt or undo what you’ve done, but you just want to shake off the shame, blame and feel calm again.
Many of us set a very high expectation on how we should behave, and that sometimes violates our needs to be true to ourselves.
Say sorry and make it right
If you are guilty of what you have wronged someone, step ahead and say sorry to make it right. Sometimes, a sincere apology is all it takes to release the bitter feeling inside you.
But if you are guilty of not meeting your overly high expectation of behavior, and you would still do the same thing no matter what, it’s time to shake off the guilt.
You should not be guilty of prioritizing yourself, because you are in charge of your life and your own happiness. And you deserve to have your life for your own.
I don’t remember how many times I had to tell myself the same thing, to start considering how I feel before considering others, to start saying no when I want to without feeling selfish and guilty.
Stop playing the same old song
Now that you already say sorry and do all the things that you should do, it’s time to let it go. Stop playing the same footage in your head over and over again.
So be aware of your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself ruminating on your guilt, tell yourself to stop. Say it out loud clearly. And move your focus to something positive.
Always remind yourself that you have tried and done everything you could do to be a forgiving person, that you can forgive people around you and you can forgive yourself.
Love yourself like your loved ones
I’m sure we all agree on this:
You can easily forgive your loved ones and still love them the same. You don’t want them to feel hurt, miserable and unloved. Because it’s when they need your love and forgiveness the most.
So treat yourself like your loved ones. Stop hating yourself. Stop beating yourself up.
It’s the time when you need love the most. And you are the first person can give that love.
Tell yourself “I love myself. I am grateful for all the things I have done to nurture and protect myself. I love the kind and forgiving person I am becoming”.
I affirm this twenty times a day, and as a result, I start to believe in myself. I believe that all my actions are for a higher good reason that sometimes I don’t even understand yet.
Feeling guilty means that you care. But feeling guilty all the time is selfish.
It’s not bad to feel guilty after we do something wrong. It means we know we screw up, and we care enough to feel bad about it.
But instead of making things right and taking responsibility for what we have done, we chose to punish ourselves by feeling miserable and unlovable. And that’s selfish.
Worse, feeling suffering is contagious, and if you too dwell in the guilt, you will make people around you suffer too.
So allow yourself to feel guilty just a little while and then let it go.
Enjoy your guilt-free life. Starts from now.