4 Strategies to Stop Feeling Guilty
What is the best trip you have taken? I have taken trips to Hawaii, different parts of the U.S. and Canada, and Puerto Rico. There was an incredible trip to England and France, and several to Mexico. I have taken some awesome trips, but the guilt trip is not one of them.
Think back on that trip you were thinking of and consider how many times you have taken a trip down memory lane, told stories, or shown pictures. It is fun to recall an enjoyable experience.
You have probably had many flashbacks of your fantastic vacation, but it is not always in the forefront of your thoughts.
The guilt trip is different. Rather than bringing it to mind on occasion, the steady stream of guilty thoughts invades your mind.
Living in a state of guilt eats away at your self-worth and probably comes with an unhealthy dose of shame.
You might be feeling guilty over something you did, or perhaps the guilt comes from the actions and choices of another person. No matter how the guilt showed up, it is time to let it go.
1. Stop Beating Yourself Up. Guilt tends to have a powerful hold over us. I felt guilty for thirteen years over my daughter’s addiction. I knew deep down I didn’t cause it, but I grabbed onto the guilt and refused to let go. It never helped Jamie get clean, and it nearly destroyed me. Let go of the white-knuckle grip you have on the guilt. Stop beating yourself up.
2. Forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is what I call the “F” word. As impactful as the other “F” word might be, this one will change your life for the better. Forgive yourself for whatever you feel guilty about and then let it go. God forgave you a long time ago. As long as you are not repeating the behavior, then it is ancient history.
3. Forgive someone else. As strange as it may seem, your guilt could be tied to the actions and choices of somebody else, as in the case of my guilt over Jamie’s addiction. If I continued to feel guilty, then I wouldn’t have to accept that the path was Jamie’s and not mine. It was a twisted way of thinking I had some control over the situation. When I forgave Jamie for everything, it helped me to forgive myself, and to let go of the guilt.
4. Make Changes. If your guilt is due to your actions or behaviors, make changes. You cannot do one thing about the past, but you can ensure the future is very different. While it might seem as if people never forget, we also tend to be much more affected by what we experience in the present of the very recent past. After enough time goes by, nobody will remember.
Give up the guilt that is holding you back from being confident and self-assured.
Life is too short to be covered by the burden of shame. You are not perfect, just like everybody else. Remember that everybody has a story. Find a perspective on your situation. Start using the “F” word.
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Valerie Silveira | Trauma Disruptor & Legacy Leader™ is an award-winning author of multiple books, workbooks, and journals to guide people worldwide through the path to freedom. Valerie is known as a woman of unwavering strength who, through the trauma and lessons of her daughter’s addiction and her senseless murder, along with her decades of leadership, empowers others to stand up and live courageously. Her books, workbooks, journals, and 9 Weapons of Hope™ provide hope and healing for life’s many challenges. For information on Valerie’s courses, books, and speaking programs, visit ValerieSilveira.com.