I think most people have walked around with guilty feelings at some point in their lives. When you do, does it feel like a weight on your shoulder? It presses down on you and leaves you will a feeling of uneasiness all day long. I use to walk around with this guilt weight on my shoulders for way to many days. I can remember at one point in my life after my divorce from my daughters dad I felt like my life was run by guilt. Just the emotional part of divorce and knowing our daughter was having a hard time was good enough for mommy’s guilt to kick in high gear. My days would be run by guilty feelings and I began to become just one big ball of guilt. Everything I did or thought seemed to be governed by how guilty I felt that day.
The guilt began to make me feel like I hadn’t done enough that day or I had upset others when I didn’t mean to or maybe I should have done something differently. This is not the way to live folks. It just clouds your mind and thoughts and you begin to internalize it to shame. That’s when you begin to internalize it and begin reacting to circumstances out of guilt and not a clear head.
It’s very draining and distressing living with a constant feeling of guilt. It also stops you from making the most effective and efficient decisions. In other words, you’ll end up making bad decisions simply because you’re reacting to those feelings of guilt.
I had to begin asking myself these questions to pull myself out of guilt.
1. What am I really thinking about? What I don’t want (like pleasing others) or what I really do want? When I started thinking about what it is I want I began to come up with clear solutions that worked for me not them so much.
2. Look at how you reacted to a situation. have you ever come out of a situation thinking or saying “I shouldn’t have done that” or “It’s all my fault” that is you feeling guilty for what you have done. Now you can use your guilt to notice that you want to change something in your life.To move forward and go for important things, this is how guilt can move you in a positive way. Or you can learn to not react on emotions, to think before you react.
3. Someone pushing your buttons. We all have these people in our lives and once we begin to see that we are being triggered by words and not emotions we can not react as quickly. Or we can begin to see these words do nothing for us in our lives and let them have those thoughts and words back. Just because someone says something that evokes a reaction inside of you doesn’t mean you have to give them a piece of your mind or even your time. Learn what triggers you with that person and learn new ways to deal with it.
4. Accept we all make mistakes, no one person has or ever will be perfect and learn to forgive yourself!! This is a huge one for most people. We hear of forgiving others but not so much ourselves.
Be easy on yourself with going through your feelings of guilt. Remember no one is perfect and we all make mistakes.