Guilt: Is It Necessary?

People tend to carry guilt around with them like a two-ton boulder.  Something happened when they were younger that they grew to regret.  Maybe a relationship ended, a poor decision was made, or reckless behavior was penalized.  Possibly, words were left unspoken, a chance wasn’t taken, or the love of one’s life has gotten away.  What’s left in the dust of these occurrences can often be described as guilt.  Webster’s dictionary defines guilt as “the condition or fact of having committed a crime or wrongdoing; the feeling of responsibility for having done something wrong”.  After learning what guilt means, ask yourself, “is my guilt justifiable?”.  Play the tape backward, did your actions qualify as a crime committed?  When reviewing that tape, were you 100% responsible for the outcome of the situation?

How does guilt feel?  Often times, people feel remorseful, have low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, and can lead to depression.  Some will ruminate over a situation that caused the guilt, replaying the scenario multiple times in their head.

It may be time to drop the rock of guilt and start healing from the pain behind it.  Processing this with a therapist can be helpful.  Your therapist can navigate through your story, with your help, and explore if the guilt you experience is valid.  Unlocking this trap can free you up from years of regret and suffering.  Helping you move forward in life, the past can be used as a learning tool, guiding you away from making the same mistakes.  It can also help you to realize what is real or imagined guilt.  Sometimes we as humans, take on too much responsibility for a situation, carrying the guilt for all those involved.  In the end, we can only be responsible for ourselves, what we contribute, and what we allow ourselves to carry from stressful times.  So, ask yourself, is the guilt I experience today necessary?  If not, drop the rock, and allow yourself the freedom to heal from the wounds of carrying all that guilt.

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