How Guilt Holds Us Back

So many of us live under an oppressive cloud of heavy guilt. We are plagued by regret of decisions made and actions taken, words spoken, or opportunities not explored. We feel as though we have done so many things wrong and we forget about all of the things that we have done right.

We apologize, we try to make amends wherever possible, but it's never enough. We cannot forgive ourselves for those things we did or did not do in the past. We drag this guilt into the present and carry it with us into the future. We have held onto it for so long that it has become a part of us.

If we make mistakes, if we hurt others, if we missed an opportunity that life presented us, of course we should feel sorry. Absolutely we should apologize. Wherever possible we should make amends. Definitely, we should learn from our missteps and not repeat them. However, beating ourselves up and refusing to forgive ourselves, derails our happiness, and has harmful consequences on the decisions we make now and how we treat others.

Guilt, shame, and regret serve no purpose. A worthy conscience certainly helps us to learn from our poor choices and prevents us from repeating the same mistakes over and over again. But guilt is about punishment and self-retribution. It keeps us in a self-inflicted prison of pain. It keeps us stuck in the past and doesn't allow us to express our greatness or experience the fullness of life.

Accept your mistakes as a step along the path to who you are today.

Let the guilt go. Release the past. Forgive yourself. Embrace your future. It's time.

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