Someone recently asked me how to heal guilt. I had to think about that for awhile. This is what I came up with.
Guilt results from feeling that we’ve done something to hurt ourselves or someone else. We pile it on ourselves over big things and little things. Sometimes we hang onto it for years. Many times we pile on guilt about things we have misunderstood.
Whether our actions were intentional or not we still seem to have a compulsion to burden ourselves with guilt. Did I say the right thing? Why did I do that? Did I wear the correct clothes? Did I smile enough? Did I answer clearly? Did they understand me? Do they like me? Did I make the right decision? Why didn’t I do…..? Why did I eat that? I should have taken the stairs. The list goes on and on.
What is on your list? How many years have you been piling guilt on yourself constantly about this or that? Or the same things over and over and over? Why is it on your list?
The piles of guilt we create can be very stressful and unhealthy for our bodies. Goodness knows there’s enough things in this world making it hard to stay healthy without us adding on even more.
Letting go of guilt is hard. It requires acknowledgment that maybe we did something that did not reflect the best of us.
Being honest about that is such a relief. Being honest about how we treat ourselves and others allows us to recognize parts of us that we would like to change. Recognition allows us to open the door to healing and to more love and growth and most importantly to forgiveness.
Forgiveness. WOW! That’s another thing that’s really hard.
Whatever you’ve done — whatever you think you’ve done — take a look at it now. Find the good in it. Find the things that you’ve learned. Find the ways that you’ve become a better, stronger person because of it. Acknowledge what needs to be changed — in how you treat yourself and how you treat others. Then start! And give yourself credit for every small and big change you make!
Be courageous and give yourself this enormous gift. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight and yet every time you do this — every time you let go of this guilt or that guilt you create space for forgiveness and then for healing.
Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Truly from your heart. Each time you give yourself this gift you create healing. Healing creates another positive shift toward love and toward true connection with your spirit, with your heart, with you.
Make your life more harmonious and filled with joy. Isn’t that what you’ve been looking for?