GUILT IS A THIEF OF JOY. Certainly there are genuine reasons to feel guilty, particularly at times when we actually hurt someone in some way – their feelings or otherwise.
But I find that many of us feel guilty far too often, for everything from:
~ saying the ‘wrong’ thing (even if we had no way of knowing it would cause upset), to
~ not saying or doing something when we think we ‘should’ have, or when or how we said we would (even when things outside of our control thwarted our efforts), to
~ being late (even when something outside of our control delayed us, and then we blame ourselves for missing a part of an activity – or feel guilty for someone else choosing to be upset over our tardiness), to so many other things.
‘Bad’ is often a word used interchangeably with ‘guilty’ – without us really identifying it as guilt: I feel so bad about [doing/not doing/saying/not saying – x].
I hear it too much, and I’ve said it myself far too many times.
At some point I started asking myself: why am I saying I feel bad so often? It’s often unwarranted – and it doesn’t feel good, it feels so heavy.
When I catch myself doing it these days, I pause for a moment and ask myself:
~ do I really need to feel bad about this?
~ is it my fault? did my actions play a part in it?
~ was it within my control – whatever happened?
~ did I know better? did I do it intentionally? or carelessly? or did I do my best and it just didn’t work out?
~ is it important for me to expend energy feeling bad or guilty about this thing?
…and perhaps most importantly…
~ what can I do to rectify, improve, or positively impact the situation?
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE. Someone very dear to me recently shared how she’d felt guilty for not doing a task as quickly as she said she would – various obstacles delayed its completion.
But due to the timing and how things unfolded to get it finally taken care of – the result was a whole lot of joy being brought to someone else in the process. This was quite unexpected and unpredictable, and happened because of how things worked out – which was not how or when she’d originally planned.
So remember that there’s often unexpected or surprising value to come out of things not working out as we hope or plan, or when they go a way that we might initially feel ‘bad’ about.
GREAT OPPORTUNITIES CAN ARISE OUT OF THINGS THAT SEEM TO BE GOING ‘WRONG.’
Wishing you a day of feeling a little less guilty, and inviting you to ask yourself – is this something I really need to feel bad about, or can I let it go? ❤
(Photo by Johannes Plenio, pexels(dot)com)