Learning to Let Go of Guilt & Regrets

Do guilt, shame and regrets rule your life?

Most of us are brought up being told that we are bad, not good enough, worthless, useless and we grow to believe these things about ourselves. As we grow up and become adults, these beliefs continue to manifest in our lives, as we condemn our actions. Yet the truth is most of the things we judge ourselves for, the things we feel guilty about are no where near as big as we have built them up to be in our minds.

Many years ago, I was sharing with a friend how guilty I felt about something that I had done and he said to me, go ahead if you want to feel guilty, but I don’t subscribe to guilt. For whatever reason, it was the perfect timing for me to hear someone say that to me and I listened. 

What he shared next changed my life. He reminded me how when we were children we were shamed into believing many things we did were wrong and that we should feel guilty for doing them. He reminded me how the nuns and priests that were my teachers and mentors as a child continually reinforced how shameful it was to be angry at someone, or to get a grade that was less than an “A”.

I remembered how I was punished for wearing my Beanie hat in one class and punished again for not wearing it in another class. These two teachers literally required female students to put on or take off these little hats, while crossing a hallway, without our books in hand. I was made to feel bad, guilty, worthless and more. I carried that baggage, those negative self deprecating beliefs about myself around with me for years. I had employers that would pay me a small salary, so they didn’t have to pay me overtime and then required me to work 60 hours weeks, and yet I would feel guilty for calling in sick, just to give myself a much deserved day off that my employer wouldn’t give me.

With my friends words, he helped me to realize that I too could choose to continue to feel worthless, guilty and shameful or I could choose to look at each negative thing I felt about myself and accept myself just as I am. I could choose to find a better employer that wouldn’t treat me badly, and more importantly I could start loving myself for who I am.

That was one of many turning points in my life that brought me to where I am today. Today, I can honestly say that there is nothing I feel guilty about or regret in my life. Why because I recognize that I did the best I could based on what I was taught and that I am a good person. I also make sure that I never lie. If I don’t feel safe in a situation to be honest and honor my values, I do the following and recommend that you may want to make this a practice too.

First I ask myself the following questions:

  1. How did I attract this person or situation into my life?
  2. What is it that I believe about myself that attracted this person or situation into my life?
  3. Am I ready to let go of that belief about myself?

I then do a belief replacement process using the Krystagraphs for Straight Path to Core Beliefs and Belief Transformation. I uproot the old belief and replace it with a new empowering belief.

I then take action to move away from that situation or relationship, or if I want to continue the relationship, I make sure I communicate how I feel and that the behavior that I experienced is not acceptable and I will not allow it again. If it continues I repeat the process above and if necessary remove myself from the relationship.

How Prevalent is Guilt In Your Life?

A friend and I were having lunch the other day and I was talking very passionately about several issues that I am concerned about in our world. Things like the anger and hatred I see going on around the US and the world. How the quality of our food is suffering and how we are being poisoned with Genetically Engineered (GMO) foods. How the environment is being destroyed and how our government officials are denying the effects of oil spills, nuclear energy and radiation in our oceans as causes of climate change and their affect on our air, food and water quality. I talked about the importance of finding Green Solutions and most importantly making them affordable to everyone. I also talked about inequalities in wages, education, and more.

Yes, I am passionate about all of these and many other issues I see going on around me and because my friend follows doctor’s orders, I didn’t even touch on my passionate feelings about our health care system.

I then told him that I have been guided to start a “Think Tank” environment for finding solutions. (I’ll be announcing more about this in the near future).

A while later in the conversation, long after I was off my soap box so to speak, my friend said to me. Should I feel guilty because although I agree those things you talked about are problems and important, I don’t have the passion for doing anything about it. I don’t feel as though I can spend my energy trying to fix those problems.

I was initially shocked. No, not at the fact he doesn’t have the same passion as me, but at the fact that he wanted to know if he should feel guilty for that. He went onto ask, when I am dying will I feel guilty for not taking on these important issues?

Do You Carry Guilt by Wondering…

  1. Should I do more?
  2. Should I contribute more to this cause or this charity?
  3. Should I be marching for better health care, equal pay, etc.?
  4. If I don’t do xxx should I feel guilty?

How to Recognize Guilt

If the thought has the word should in it, there is a feeling of guilt attached. As my friend Dr. Tianna says, Don’t Should On Yourself!

If you are doing something out of feeling you have to or it is the right thing to do and not because it is something you really want to do, then you are acting out of guilt.

If you are putting yourself in jeopardy in any way, such as donating more money than you actually have and then getting behind on your bills, you are acting out of guilt.

If you giving up too much of your time to help others, and then finding yourself behind on the things you want to do, or worse missing a costly deadline, you are acting out of guilt or lack of self-love and self-worth.

If you are putting your own health or life on the line for others without considering the potential impact on you, you are acting out of guild or lack of self-love and self-worth.

How to Let Go of Guilt

The fastest way to learn to let go of guilt is

  1. Acknowledge that you are doing something out of guilt
  2. Discover the underlying beliefs about yourself that are causing you to act out of guilt
  3. Change those beliefs
  4. Forgive yourself
  5. Do something good for yourself to nourish your soul everyday

My Response to My Friend’s Question of Guilt

So, in case you are wondering what I told my friend about whether he should feel guilty, here’s what I said.

We all have gifts to give the world. We all are passionate about certain things and as long as you are following your bliss and doing what you are passionate about, that’s what is important.

You get to choose whether you are going to feel guilty at the end of your life, because of the could of, would of, should of’s of life. It’s a choice.

Ask opportunities come up to help a cause that you believe it, help in whatever way is comfortable for you. Do what you can without doing it out of guilt and instead bless the world with the gifts you were brought here to give.

In the case of my friend. He is one of those people that knows how to make everyone feel good about themselves. He lives his life helping making everyone’s day just a little better. So, I told him, make sure you keep giving that gift to everyone you meet, because you never know how much you may change that person’s life or how that change will impact what they do next in their life.

In Conclusion…

We can’t all be passionate about the various causes that I listed above, or others. What we can do is help each other, support each other and love each other. We can be responsible for our part in contributing to take care of Mother Earth, other people and all of God’s creatures, by doing things more consciously, by recycling, sending people love and prayers, by signing petitions and more.

As long as you do what you can and live your life with passion, giving your gifts to the world and DO NO HARM, you will be able to think back when you are dying without feelings of guilt or regret. Instead you will be able to smile and know that you lived a life worth living.





My request of you. The “Think Tank” project I mentioned above is just unfolding. If you have a passion for any of the following issues or if you are an “Out of the Box Thinker” I’d love to know more about what you are passionate about. Please let me know in the comments box below.

  1. Human Rights
  2. Animal Rights
  3. Equality for all humans no matter their race, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, etc.
  4. Protecting animals of all species
  5. World Peace
  6. Clean Air
  7. Healthy Food for Everyone
  8. Green Energy Solutions
  9. Clean/Safe Water
  10. Stop Oil Drilling and our dependency on oil
  11. Getting rid of Nuclear power
  12. Getting rid of Coal Mining
  13. Stopping the use of pesticides

The above is just a sampling, be sure to add in your thoughts as well.

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