WHY do We Feel Guilty?

“I’ve got a bad case of the 3:00 am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression and self-loathing.”
D.D. Barant

The holidays often bring out the best and sometimes the worst in us. Old hurtful messages we thought disappeared, of not being enough or not measuring up, resurface. Why do we feel guilty with an anxiety of expectations of ourselves and others that are a part of holidays?

Many of us wish things were different, and we become lost in conjectures of how we think things should be. I’ve heard it said guilt for some is an emotional safety check that allows us to reexamine our behaviors. Many times guilt is merely situational and often misplaced.

How Can we Release Unnecessary and Self-defeating

Feelings of being Guilty:

  1. We Notice our thoughts. Awareness is where our inner-voice comes alive and our ability to change begins. When this happens, it may sound weak; but it is your intuition, your highest self, guiding you. If possible, write it down and revisit it as a prayer in meditation. Are we feeling guilty for eating five Holiday Cookies or for harboring a certain angst against someone? These are examples of situational guilt and we can change, let it go, by not eating five cookies again, and/or by making amends to that certain someone.

2.Replace Self-defeating Messages. With awareness comes the ability to replace old tapes, those messages we’ve heard a thousand times, with positive facts about ourselves. Here are three examples until you develop your own that speak to you:

3.Journal. This powerful gateway opens our heart to authenticity and goes far to diminish guilt through positive fact-finding. We find a positive example for each negative, and before we know it, our mood changes and guilt disappears. We stay away from strict, black or white reflecting and with positive examples, find comfort and our truth, in the middle.

I am better than I think I am,
I am doing the best I can and my best is good enough!
I deserve to say what I mean, mean what I say and not say it mean.

What would your positive messages look like and how do they enhance your highest-thinking? If you spot it, then it is already there inside of you.  All we do is resurrect it, and put it into practice. The more assertive we become in our self-talk, the fewer opportunities for guilt remain.

4. Prayer and Meditation is the spiritual path for many of us to seek guidance, regardless of the issue. What we focus on, becomes our reality. The practice of open-mindedness moves us to engage the universe and a power greater than ourselves to do for us what we cannot.

5. STOP using demeaning self-deprecating words against ourselves!  We are not here by accident. Each of us has a purpose, mistakes to make, and a divine requirement to pass lessons learned on.  There is nothing we can give away if we don’t have it. A personal promise helps to communicate love and respect to ourselves. Repetition, practice with a dedication to our deserving selves will change our thinking. Actions follow.

We Let Go of Perfectionistic Thinking

By accepting what is, we embrace ourselves with a positive resolution to change and leave guilty feelings behind because by now, it should be disappearing. Our awareness, with love and kindness, invites a process of letting go of the unnecessary hurtful guilt that kept us stuck in old behaviors and harmful untruths.

What is your personal resolution for the New Year? Less guilt means more freedom to be who you really are. Today is the perfect day to recreate a guilt-free you.


Has this been helpful to you? Please share!

2 thoughts on “WHY do We Feel Guilty?”

  1. “I’m doing the best I can and my best is good enough!” This comment speaks to me and I felt a sense of relief ….. I know it’s coming from always wanting approval from others because of never feeling good about just being me….. no hiding behind a “happy mask”. Julie S.

    1. Julie, so grateful that you’re here, doing well, and staying the course with “life” happening all around you. Please come back often, and my best to you and yours.

      With love in the fellowship,

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