Everyone makes mistakes. Most in life are relatively minor, and lead to only a small amount of regret before they are forgotten. However, some mistakes are huge, they affect other people, which can cause intense remorse and guilt. They can also leave you completely miserable and depressed. You may find it difficult to like yourself and may not feel worthy of love from anyone else as a result. Guilt from past mistakes can eat you alive if you don’t address it. Learning forgiveness, grace & thanksgiving can be one of the more difficult things you do in life, but you can begin to work through your issues by following these steps.
Learn to Meditate
When you are consumed by guilt and remorse, you may struggle with anxiety, feelings of depression, and more. You may dwell on the seemingly horrible things you did, and you may feel guilty about how they have affected others. Meditation gives you a special time to clear your mind and to feel more relaxed. While meditating, you will not think about anything that has happened, instead, focus on things you are grateful for, things you can control, and you will feel peace and solace. This is not a cure. However, with regular practice, meditation can help you to gradually move past your issues.
The real gift of meditation is discovering a peaceful center to your being. Finding a quiet place inside you creates a place of healing, somewhere to retreat to when the world around you gets crazy. From a peaceful place, you can better see people, and forgive their crazy actions.
Seek Outside Therapy
Self-hate and serious guilt are not issues easily worked through on your own. Individual or group therapy sessions may be particularly beneficial in some cases. Your therapist can also help to determine if you need medication for therapy, how to avoid PTSD triggers, and more. You cannot expect to move past your current issues without help, but you need to be brave enough to seek the help you do need.
Finding a therapist is one way to not feel alone on this journey. A good therapist can bring the added insight of their own struggles and their own victories over the dark places our minds takes. Finding out you are not alone, in itself, can bring about profound changes.
Be kind with Yourself, Then Others
Forgiveness can be difficult to extend to others, and it can be even more difficult to extend to yourself. This is not something that you will accomplish overnight. It may take weeks, months, or longer to fully find peace from the situation. Remember, forgiveness isn’t letting someone off the hook, or condoning anything they did. Rather, forgiveness is allowing ourselves to move on, to heal and to eventually be happy again.
You may even find that you have mostly forgiven yourself, only to find the guilt creep back up a few weeks later. Be patient with the forgiveness process. Allow yourself to feel your regret and guilt, but do not wallow in it. Accept that you did something wrong and give yourself time to forgive.
When you make a serious mistake that has devastating consequences, it is easy and even natural to feel extreme guilt and sadness. It may take a long time and require considerable effort to forgive yourself. Rest assured, these steps will help you to more easily get to the point where you want to be.