It is not uncommon in free life coaching sessions for my patient (I am not a doctor or qualified psychologist) to ask why do I feel guilt or why do I feel guilty all the time, even when I haven't done anything wrong.
Venus Cow says, "There is no such thing as guilty pleasure, so stop feeling guilty ."
How is it possible to really enjoy something you later feel guilty about, like eating fatty food when you are on a diet or smoking the odd cigarette when you have given up?
The reason you feel guilty is because what you have done, goes against what you believe is your truth but remember we are masters at lying to ourselves.
If you are on a diet because you truly want to get healthy and have a fabulous enviable body there can be no guilty pleasures just hard work and focus.
Feeling guilty can keep you stuck and cause depression. Guilt is a burden you carry and if unaddressed and unchecked leads to deeper feelings of shame.
Guilt Vs Shame
If you have hurt someone and you feel guilty, apologise, which will help alleviate your guilt. If you are an anxious person you may tend to feel more guilty about things so learn how to relax and stop being so hard on yourself. Once you really get to know yourself, by questioning and going over your actions in your meditation the guilty feelings will subside as soon as you can isolate the trigger and acknowledge it wasn't my fault, I didn't know better, I am not to blame. Once you stop blaming yourself internally, remember the story of the Buddah's second arrow, That’s the arrow of your emotional reaction. you dodge the second arrow by consciously choosing contemplation instead.
Venus Cow says, "No one is perfect."
If you want to live shamelessly you have to be completely open and to be completely open you have to be completely honest. Guilt can only coexist in secret so spilling your guts is the best way I've found to alleviate it.
Guilt will eat away at everything that is good about how you feel, live and exist, leaving you feeling responsible for the suffering of others, which in turn leaves little time for working on yourself. We have to remember if we have done something deliberately to hurt someone else, then we are to blame and need to take personal responsibility and say sorry. We also have to remember there are two sides to every story, so someone projecting their suffering on you, in order to make you feel guilty, to get what they want, is not your fault.
It can be so draining to live your life feeling guilty as well as put you at risk of making the wrong decisions. Our guilt comes from avoiding things we don’t want to do, like letting someone down, hurting someone’s feelings, not facing the truth. Go to your journal and make a list of not what you don’t want but focus on what you do want. Think about all the times you have said to yourself, I should not have said that or done that, I should have known better?
If you feel insecure or not good enough don’t let people push the wrong buttons inside to make you feel guilty, learn to believe in yourself and your actions and stick with your choices no matter what others think. Thinking about what you are doing, why you are doing it, your motive (particularly if you anticipate potentially upsetting someone in the process, will stop you feeling guilty. At least if you do this, you only have yourself to blame if it all blows up in your face and you allow anyone to steer you or bully you away from what you want. From this you will learn people project their dissatifaction on to others, something we unravel a lot in free life coaching.
Venus Cow says, "I must learn to forgive myself first."
Photo by: Annie Spratt