All emotions have a purpose. The dictionary defines guilt as “a fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially morally. A feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense whether real or imagined.”
Guilt is an emotion that can stay with a person for the long term and interfere with one’s life if not understood. The purpose of guilt is to help us decipher what is right or wrong. Guilt emerges when you feel that you should have acted a certain way but didn’t.
How can we make guilt go away, is the burning question?! May I just say that you may not ever be able to get rid of it but you can learn to accept it as just another emotion that crosses your mind from time to time.
Often times you feel guilty for something that you did or did not do in the past. There is no way to rewind the clock and do over. If it’s out of your control and can not remedy it than you need to learn to accept yourself and the situation, knowing that your heart was in a good place or that now you are a better person by learning from those errors. As you start to process it you may even realize that it was not your responsibility or fault.
If it is something that can be done right in the present time and you have the ability, than do it. There may have been good reasons for having done it one way versus another at the time. And most likely you didn’t think that you would be feeling so down about it still. So now you may have to weigh your options, fix it versus continuing to feel guilty.
Remember that life is a journey and sometimes you will make mistakes and if you choose to learn and accept those mistakes your quality of life will be improved!