Being filled with guilt is like continuing to pay rent on a place you no longer live.
Guilt can do to you what Hansel and Gretel did to the Gingerbread house. Little by little, guilt picks away at our core, leaving us defensive and emotionally unavailable.
Did you know you can use guilt as a force for positive change?
It’s too late you say? The person wronged has long since left – moved, you’re too afraid or .. worse yet .. they’ve passed away?
Even if you’re only just now admitting to a mistake from your past, it is never too late to acknowledge it. Why? Because the other people still in your life benefit when you attempt to right your wrongs. And, surprisingly, so does someone else – you.
Why? Because past mistakes that are never acknowledged …. tag along for the ride like a naughty child, undermining the integrity of our current relationships, whispering destructive thoughts into our ears and delighting when bad behavior rises to the surface.
Whenever I find myself feeling guilty… I take a moment and examine it. The funny thing is, it always ends up being one of two scenarios: 1) I’m actually feeling obligated to what I think someone else wants from me (whether they do or not) OR 2) I did something to feel guilty for. Maybe I was short, impatient or disrespectful. I’ve learned that the only way I can assuage true guilt is to face it – to stare it down, own up to it – and attempt to fix the damages.
We can stop the cycle.
We can use guilt as our positive force for change.
Repeat after me: “I was wrong.”
For most of us, this is hard to do because admitting our shortcomings exposes our vulnerabilities. It’s not ingrained behavior and it goes against everything that may have been modeled for us. But honestly? Admitting when we’re wrong has as much good in it for us as it does for others.
You might be surprised how much these 3 little words resonate. I was.
There are 3 other important words that are often said prematurely or just simply over used .. to the point that they lose their impact. These are the real deal. These 3 words will grow you up.
Admitting our mistakes. Correcting the wrongs. Accepting ourselves and others. Becoming the person we’d actually want to spend time with.
What comes next?
No more blank checks to absent landlords.
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