Perhaps there was a time when a natural sense of wrong doing was felt by us as a way of steering us back on course. We felt the emotion of not being in alignment with our greater self and rerouted so that we would take actions from wellbeing again. Nowadays, however, guilt has become for many a pervasive emotion connected with anxiety and stress and fear. Shame, often used during child raising and carried through into adulthood, has muddied our sense of what is right and not for us and has instead caused us to become consumed by our mistakes, worried that others will judge them and anxious that we are terrible people destined for lives of unhappiness and retribution.
The fact is mistakes help us grow. If we didn’t fall out of trees or tell a childhood lie or make an inappropriate joke or explore our boundaries, we wouldn’t get to discover what feels right for us and what doesn’t. Unfortunately the sense of guilt that now accompanies our discoveries of how we can best live through taking actions that show us how we don’t want to, obscures the lessons and education we are designed to receive and instead overtakes our experience so that we feel as if we are bad people, flawed people, wrong people and that we cannot shake or recover from the feeling.
Human beings cannot be perfect and we are not designed to be. We are of an energy that is whole and healthy and divinely intelligent and we get to revert to this and be guided by this and defer to this in order to make sense of our human experience, enjoy life on Earth and find a way that makes sense to us.
When we feel as if we have to be saintly and that when we aren’t we have let ourselves down, let others down, cannot make up for it or move on, we miss out on the opportunity for growth that our actions have provided us and overlook our design. We are supposed to make mistakes. Life is trial and error. Some mistakes are more grievous than others but all carry with them a feeling that is supposed to highlight that we are not acting from wellbeing and that it would be a good idea to return to it for guidance and recovery.
Feeling bad does not make us act better. It keeps us living in a state of unhappiness that rarely sees us connect well with others or act in our highest good. Guilt is not a helpful emotion to live in, to carry and to keep returning to. Forgiving ourselves for our mistakes and taking measures to act in alignment with our core values of love, health, peace, trust and compassion is the only thing that will help us learn from the actions we take that do not feel right, move on from them as we are designed to, implementing what we have learned and using our feelings to guide us in our development and evolution rather than bind us, preventing our enjoyment of life and our growth.