Sometimes, in life, we make mistakes knowingly or unknowingly. We hurt others and cause them pain even when we don’t want to do it and don’t intend it. We behave harshly and say words that we regret later. We make plans and goals, but we don’t live up to our own expectations. We let down our loved ones and ourselves. Such instances in life create guilt in us and make it difficult to forgive ourselves. We cannot accept these mistakes, which we committed, and we live life with guilt thinking about the past.
Guilt is an emotion that impacts us negatively. It robs our peace of mind and makes us feel worthless in our own eyes. It brings down our self-confidence. It stops us from seeing the good in self. And not only these, but guilt also saps our energy physically and brings diseases. It lowers our immunity and causes stress. Guilt impacts our physical, emotional, mental health negatively. So, it is very important to forgive ourselves in life.
Forgiving ourselves is easier said than done. It is challenging to accept our past and release the guilt, but it is important to walk the path of self-forgiveness if we want to lead a healthy and happy life. If we are serious about having a healthy life, we should start our journey of self-forgiveness.
So, how to forgive ourselves and release the guilt? Below are some pointers.
8 ways to overcome guilt:
1. Understand: Its important to understand that everyone in this world makes mistakes. No one is perfect and always right. No one knows everything. Mistakes happen in life. When we are evolving in life, we tend to make mistakes because we are not perfect. So, don’t feel too bad when you made some mistakes in the past. Understand that making mistakes is part of the growth process. There is no growth in life without mistakes.
2. Learn the lesson: When you make a mistake, instead of feeling guilty and feeling bad about it, learn the lesson from experience. What is the lesson you need to learn from the situation? What aspect of your behaviour should you change? When you learn the lesson, you become a better person because of your mistakes, and it reduces your guilt. When you learn the lesson, you progress in life, and your mistakes from the past become great tools. They become valuable lessons that shape your future.
3. Be kind to yourself: Be gentle and kind towards yourself. When your child makes a mistake, you tend to forgive the child. In the same way, when you made a mistake, forgive yourself. Treat yourself like you treat a child and be compassionate towards yourself.
4. Practice meditation: Meditation is an excellent tool that helps you accept the past. Sometimes, our past mistakes haunt us. Even though the other person has forgiven us, we still carry the guilt and pain. This guilt and pain can be released when we practice meditation. Spend some time every day in meditation. Meditation is a simple tool that helps you let go of the past and live in the present moment.
5. Use affirmations: Affirmations are an excellent way to change your thinking. Letting go of guilt takes time. It cannot happen in one day. So, use affirmations as your buddies on this journey. When you practice positive affirmations regularly, it becomes easy to come out of the guilt and move on. You can use any of the below affirmations that resonate with you.
- I forgive myself
- I release all the guilt and hurts now.
- I am kind to myself.
- I love myself.
- I am thankful for my past.
6. Focus on the present and future: Move on from the past. Past is past, and nothing much can be done about it. You cannot change your past no matter how much you think about it or regret it. So, move on. Enjoy your present moment fully, and plan your future. Savor the present moment and be busy in living life.
7. Love yourself: It’s important to love yourself as much as you love your family members and friends. Nurture yourself with love and embrace your imperfections. Be gentle towards yourself. Don’t let a failure or a mistake define you. You are much bigger than your mistakes. Remember that you are a wonderful creation of God, and you carry the seed of divinity in you. So, love yourself and gently allow the seed of divinity to sprout in you.
8. Write good qualities about yourself in a journal: Make it a habit to write down good qualities about yourself in a journal. Consciously, take your time out and think of all the good qualities in you. When someone appreciates you for something, write it down in your journal. Sometimes, when we go through guilt, we feel we are the worst person on this planet and fail to see any good quality within us. In such times, this kind of journal comes to our help. Maintaining such kind of journal, where you list down good qualities about yourself, helps you to see the true picture of yourself rather than just defining yourself from one viewpoint.
These are the pointers that help you to release your guilt and forgive yourself.
Remember, it’s not worth feeling guilty about the past, no matter what the reason is. Even the great Sage Valmiki made mistakes when he was a robber. If he had been stuck in the past thinking about his life as a robber and felt guilty about it throughout his life, he would not have found the strength and peace to write a great epic like Ramayana. He would have wasted his precious life.
It’s common to make mistakes in life, and making mistakes is part of being human. The only thing is, don’t repeat your mistakes. Accept your past and learn the lessons. Start your self-forgiveness journey right today. Move on and start a new life right now and right today.
Enjoy life guilt-free!