Lately my life has seemed a little…stuck. I decided to give myself a little bit of a break since graduating college in May so I’ve continued to work at my extremely simple and quite mindless job throughout the summer. Sure, it’s been a pretty low-stress few months for me and I’ve had plenty of time to get all of my errands done and catch up with my friends. But I’ve been dealing a lot with my own guilt for not obtaining a “real” job or achieving professional success. After talking about this issue with some of my close friends and family, I have realized that feeling guilty is doing me no good and that I need to let go of that guilt if I really want my life to go anywhere.
It’s extremely hard but extremely important to let go of our guilt. Guilt is something that sits in the back of our minds and reminds us over and over again of the mistakes that we have made. It is that negative energy that dwells in us and makes us feel inferior or not good enough. It is like a plague and it slowly gets worse and worse, spiraling out of control until we feel absolutely terrible about ourselves.
I seem to be a person of habitual guilt. I expect a lot out of myself and when I don’t meet my own expectations (which seems to be almost always) I feel a big sense of guilt. I even have a hard time confronting others or standing up for myself because I later feel so guilty about causing any kind of pain to another person, no matter how small it may be. My life seems to be a mecca for guilt.
So how do we eliminate this guilt? Well, there are many things we can do.
- The belief that everything happens for a reason. Although I am not making the most out of my college educated brain, I believe that everything happens for a reason. Maybe if I had gotten a great, high-paying and challenging job straight out of college I would be upset. I wouldn’t have had all of this free time to unwind and relax especially when I am still so young.
- Practice self love. By feeling guilty you are being unfair to yourself. Maybe last night you ate way more ice cream than you planned and now you are really beating yourself up over it. Understand that what’s done is done and at the time, eating all that ice cream seemed like the best idea. So let go of your self-resentment and instead think about the positives, like how good that ice cream was, how happy it made you to eat it, and even how great you are despite consuming more calories than you intended.
- Have faith and pray. I believe that God has a plan for me and this is all part of it. I have prayed many, many times in the past few months asking God to steer me in the right direction. I know that He is listening so I need to have faith that this is just part of the plan. God knows much more than I could ever pretend to know so I have to remember that I’m just along for the ride.
Feeling guilty is a natural part of life, but like a broken bone, guilt needs to be fixed instead of ignored. How do you deal with guilt? Let me know by commenting below or by tweeting me: @kaliwhipple
I hope that you can find a way to live guilt-free.