Are You Consumed with Guilt?
We've all felt it, that sinking feeling in the pit of our stomach that we feel sick about, perhaps you said something that hurt someone or did something you wish you could take back? These are common reasons why we feel guilty, and, perhaps a warranted feeling for doing something we know we shouldn't have done. But did you know that many of us carry guilt around for things we didn't do?
Are you the kind of person that wants to help everyone? Perhaps fix their problems? Do you feel bad when a loved one goes through a hard time and you can't make it better for them? I never realized that I have been carrying a sense of guilt for years, perhaps decades. I feel deeply. And when I can't handle feeling anymore, I become closed off and harden my exterior. Some would call me an empath, some would say I lack empathy, I suppose it all depends on what cycle you happen to meet me in. But I have realize one thing for sure, taking on a sense of guilt for not being able to help someone can consume your life.
I have felt guilt not being able to help family the way I want to, for not being able to change my parents past and what they went through as children, and didn't have as a result, I feel guilt for friends who are going through immense pain and difficult times, wishing I could make it all better. It is these guilts that can consume my mind, leave me feeling restless, sleepless and helpless, night after night after night, turning into years and decades of wishing and feeling an immense sense of guilt around it all.
It wasn't until I spoke to a friend recently who had a similar experience with her life, and she said something, that led to me realizing something, that hit me like a load of bricks off a moving truck. The guilt is not mine to carry. Now that was profound enough, but knowing how my mind works the "but yeah", and "but maybe" will work their way through my mind to find a way to hang onto the guilt because surely there is something I could have done, even just one small thing, that would make it all better. It was the moments following her 'the guilt is not yours to carry' that I heard a second sentence that followed: You don't even realize that It's okay to let the guilt go. That thought made me stop in my tracks, because it's true. We walk around feeling guilty and responsible for things that aren't our responsibility never mind our guilt to carry, and not even realizing that all it takes is a decision to let it go, not even realizing that we actually CAN make that decision to let it go. That was the goldmine right there. We CAN LET IT GO. All we have to do is make the decision to.
Life can be complicated enough, it is full of emotional ups and downs like a ride at an amusement park, and sometimes it leaves you feeling sick and dizzy when the emotions from another situation become to much, and the reality is, all we really need to do is stop the ride and get off. It's not hard, nor complicated, and it's allows you to take back your emotional state and bring yourself some inner peace once again.
You see, we cannot fix the world. We cannot take the pain away that others have gone through or are going through, and the reality is this; for the most part, the people we are so worried about are dealing with their life, they have made their own decisions that have led them on their own path, and us being sick with worry and guilt will not make their decisions past, present or future any different.
So be free my friends, let the guilt go, I know that after this realization myself I feel renewed, like a weight has been lifted and somehow my life seems a little happier too.
~ Monika xo