We have all probably spent hours or even days of our lives feeling guilty because of something we can no longer change. Feeling guilty is normal, and it often stems from something we did that hurt someone we love. But guilt can hold us back, and to really move on, we need to free ourselves from all the guilt we are feeling.
If you lie to the person you love or break their favorite possession, you will feel guilty for hurting them. In this case, the guilt is healthy and is connected to the painful event that caused harm to someone we love. However, we can get rid of this guilt by apologizing.
This type of guilt is natural. It is connected with the nervous system that alerts us that we are doing something opposite of our principles. If you have a healthy relationship with your feelings, instead of beating yourself up for something you did, you will use guilt to correct your actions.
Guilt isn’t always healthy. Sometimes, it is the result of toxic situations where guilt was used against us to punish us. When toxic guilt is present, there is this unhealthy perception that we aren’t good enough. Instead of blaming guilt on our actions, we are blaming guilt on ourselves. If you are facing toxic guilt, even little mistakes become frightening. You are carrying all the accumulated guilt with you, and this paralyzes you.
Once we realize how privileged we are compared to those struggling to afford basic human needs, we can be faced with existential guilt. This guilt is connected with social injustice and can make us feel helpless as we feel for everyone struggling to make ends meet. If the existential guilt is intertwined with toxic guilt, we can start to feel responsible for everyone else’s pain. But once we recognize the feeling of guilt and what causes it will be easier to heal from it.
Free Yourself from the Guilt
The first step on the journey of healing yourself is the recognition of guilt. Dive deep into yourself and find out what is weighing you down. Then, write a letter to yourself and ask yourself for forgiveness for everything you have done in the past that has caused you to feel guilty.
Ask yourself to be freed of the chains of guilt, then burn the letter. This is your first step in helping you visualize the guilt leaving your body.
Make this a regular practice of self-reflection and forgiveness.