How many times have you held on to something that you had no business latching onto?
What about those unhealthy habits that have been so hard for you to release?
Guilt is normal but it’s not normal to allow it to take up space and time in your life to the point that it causes you distress. Guilt is designed to creep in for you to be conscious of the decision you made and how it doesn't need to reoccur again in the future. It’s kind of like that annoying check engine light that pops on in your car. It’s just time for you to get routine maintenance done so that you’re able to identify any issues with your car in advance.
I used that analogy to say this, holding onto guilt does nothing of value to you when you’re not diving deep to see why it’s still lingering around. If you are deciding to punish yourself or others by holding onto the guilt, imagine what that’s doing to you internally? You wouldn’t allow food to sit in your refrigerator spoiled for months so why would you allow guilt to do the same to your body?
Here are some self-reflection that you can journal or think about to help you connect more with yourself to address any guilt that you’re holding onto:
Sit back and reflect on all of the experiences you’ve had and the lessons you’ve learned from infancy to the present.
How many times have you reflected on the lessons you’ve learned and how well you’ve implemented them into your life?
All of the basics matter but the mistakes you’ve made only matter if you have failed to learn from them.
Beating yourself up every time you think of the mistakes will not make them go away. You add value to them when you refuse to learn and move forward.
How long have you had this guilt?
How much longer do you want to hold on to it.
Exercise: Write down what you’re holding onto on a piece of paper. Then state, “I am no longer holding onto things that do not bring me peace and happiness.” Take the paper and rip it up. Throw it into the trash. You have released the guilt. Repeat this process as often as you need to until you feel that you’re emotionally detached and rationally connected to releasing the guilt.
Comment and let me and others know of some healthy & holistic ways to address and release guilty feelings!
Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Love & Serenity Wellness
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