Published: 06/14/2011 - Updated: 10/06/2018
A life can be ruined and lived with difficulty, limitation and pain if there are feelings of guilt. Many people feel guilt for things they believe they should not do, say or feel, living under a sense of failure and rejection to themselves and don't tolerate the idea of having acted in certain ways, so the days pass in a constant self claim, often without realizing it, as if there is something very wrong or undignified inside them.
These feelings of guilt can become so deep that reduce greatly the enjoyment, freedom and encouragement of life and new experiences with the ones we will encounter. In addition, the fault generates a lot of stress and depresses the body's vital energy, which can be reflected ultimately in physical pain or heart problems.
If we truly want a full, independent and enjoyable life, it is necessary to observe if there is no guilt within us, and learn to say goodbye to it if we notice it's doing a shadow on some aspect of our daily lives.
What is the guilt?
To detect if there is guilt in us, we need to know exactly what it is. So we define it in one word: self-punishment. Every time you claim for not doing something "good" or get angry with you because you did not proceed in such a way, when you criticize or judge yourself or fail, those are feelings of guilt. And the more severe you are with yourself, the more guilt you feel.
Why do we feel guilt?
Because in some way, we were brought up to feel not very "good" persons. When we were small, when we did not do something right, we saw the face of disapproval or disgust from our parents, teachers or adults around us. This message made us feel repeatedly that within us there is something wrong. Many parents, teachers and adults educate with very severe attitude critizing to children and young people, which later tend to find ways to be accepted and loved. And when this doesn't happen despite what they do, then the guilt appears.
Furthermore, the severity, non-constructive criticism and harsh judgments, cause that small children seek ways to please others and forget what we feel and want to express with honesty, we become an inauthentic, artificial, even hypocritical being, because believe that what we truly feel is not good or worthy of being loved. It's like living with the guilt constantly, which generates much emotional pain and lack of real contact with life and the people with whom we interact, we dress up what we feel, we are not spontaneous, often deny weaknesses and try to apparent what we are not.
Anxiety and guilt
Another way to feel guilty is to feel obliged to say or do things for others to avoid making them feel "bad". You can sacrifice a lifetime trying to serve or make others feel good, guilt can make us rescuers of others, trying to solve their own problems and conflicts and then we forget about our own life and feel guilt.
Trying to solve other's life makes you forget about you and what you really want, you feel tied to a myriad of circumstances and cannot plant what you will really love and want. Living like this when we do not have true dedication and love for ourselves, eventually will only generate feelings of loneliness and severe anxiety, we live between love and duty, between "I want ... but" which causes much stress and emotional exhaustion.
Consequences of the guilt on personal life
- Strong need to be accepted
- Anxiety and tension
- Emotional wear
- Artificial Personality
- A feeling of constantly being wrong or "bad"
- Weak Character
- Denial of the weaknesses for fear of being rejected
- Lack of acceptance and personal assessment
- Feelings of isolation
What can I do to avoid guilt?
The first is to consider that those who have educated us and shared our lives, have done the best they could, so we cannot blame them to have made us feel guilty. Adulthood or emotional maturity is when one must begin to be independent and solve their own weaknesses.
Then, we should understand that in reality, there is nothing wrong with oneself, that life is there to learn how to live, and that one mistake, when understood and can draw knowledge from it, and becomes a real time feedback.
Self-punishment, self-criticism, wanting to "be perfect" or walking pleasing others, just talk about lack of dignity or self-worth. So you should begin to observe yourself and determine which one is criticized or want to be perfect.
Self-observation is something that should not be neglected, it gives us clear evidence of how we are seeing and living life. Watch how you talk to yourself, how you see yourself, if you can find fault in you. And if you find fault ... do not feel guilty! It's time to start changing your perspective and your vision for yourself, engage in sincere dialogue with who you are, accept your weaknesses and learn to love the way you are, creating nice and friendly dialogue with yourself.