We have all experienced moments of guilt. A fight with our lover, a moment of anger directed towards our child, maybe you took what wasn’t yours or helped somebody else do something they shouldn’t have done.
Guilt twists up our stomachs and stabs us in the gut. It’s a horrible feeling. And sometimes guilt can be so painful it becomes overwhelming. I know people who still experience guilt over a traumatic event that happened twenty years ago. Guilt stays with you.
But with the right mindset, you can use guilt as a tool. You can channel the feeling towards getting better.
If you do something that makes you feel terrible, then thats a pretty great reason to never do that thing ever again.
What’s harder is if you feel guilty over something that was not directly caused by your own actions. The death of a sibling or a friend. The simple fact being that there was nothing you could have done, isn’t enough, and the feeling knots in your gut until you can no longer breathe.
But what can you take from this feeling and experience? Ask your guilt what could you have done better next time? Sometimes there is nothing. And this question will help you see that.
The ultimate and final move is to, once you have taken what you can from this feeling, forgive yourself. This is the hardest bit. And not to get too flowery, but we are all only humans. Mistakes are how we evolved as a species.
So feel guilty, learn what you can, forgive yourself and grow.