On this show….we will be releasing guilt. Are you tired of feeling guilty for feeling guilty? You aren’t alone. We’ve all done something we aren’t very proud of, disappointed someone, and let ourselves down. Carrying shame and guilt can be a full-time job that prevents you from realizing your true potential. I wish we could just let go of what doesn’t serve us in a positive way but let’s be honest, it is not that easy. The first step is awareness, then understanding, and then if you are good and ready...the releasing.
When do you feel those guilty feelings creeping in? Sometimes they can grab you in the pit of your stomach and say “hey...are you forgetting something?” and you are back to square one. Reminded of everything you’ve done wrong instead of what you’re doing right. Catching yourself before you start to spiral means you can change direction. “Nooooo...I haven’t forgotten anything BUT I did forgive myself and today I’m working on myself and staying stuck in the past, where I don’t have the control to change anything, it’s helpful! So back off!”
If we are concocting the right recipe for a change in behavior then we have to add a dash of willingness. No one can want the change more than you. Sure, your family can plead with you concerned about your well being. Your partner can beg you to let go and move one. But all the self-help books, motivational blogs, and inspirational quotes won’t be enough to make it happen. You have to be open and willing and wanting something more.
Guilt Cause #1: Guilt for something you did.
Guilt Cause #2: Guilt for something you didn’t do, but want to.
Guilt Cause #3: Guilt for something you think you did.
Guilt Cause #4: Guilt that you didn’t do enough to help someone.
Guilt Cause #5: Guilt that you’re doing better than someone else.
Our feelings are important and what directly impacts the quality of our lives. For too many of us, feelings have been cast off and or shoved done so we can maintain a normal appearance to everyone around us. But unlike Scarlett O’hara, not everyone can afford to push these feelings off for another day. It’s important to deal with your emotions today and understand where your power to change comes from.
So is shame the cherry on top? As if guilty feelings weren’t enough, we have to add shame to the mix to tighten the chains and keep a positive future a little further from our reach.
...Shame and guilt often go hand in hand, which is why they are so often confused. For instance, when we injure someone, we often feel bad about having done so (guilt), and, at the same time, feel bad about ourselves (shame).
So let’s add a little control or lack of to the pot. What can I do NOW to control the situation? Since we’ve established the obvious, I have no control over the past then the only place I do have control is in the present which will predict the future.
Better butter up the forgiveness because that’s the only thing standing between me and the completion of this dish. I have to forgive to move forward.
I love the perspective of Darlene Lancer in her article 18 Tips to Overcome Guilt and Forgive Yourself.
Here are just a few of her suggested tips:
- If you’ve been rationalizing your actions, take responsibility. “Okay, I did (or said) it.”
- Write a story about what happened, including how you felt about yourself and others involved before, during, and after.
- Analyze what were your needs at that time, and were they being met. If not, why not?
Forgiving yourself is not forgetting. There is learning and growth in forgiveness. You have more chapters to explore and being encumbered with the past will just derail your journey.
CHALLENGE: Don’t dismiss your emotions or allow negative feelings to rewrite your destiny. You have the power to walk through guilt and shame, understand your role and responsibility, evaluate your control, and let go so that you can move forward with the freedom to realize your true potential.
I Know YOU Can Do It!