Chances are this has been a long trip, and it's not on the list of your favorite vacations. Guilt is a very heavy energy to work through. There is this endless cycle of negative energy that seems to require endless efforts to alleviate. When will that feeling go away? How can I make it up?
I want you to understand something. Write this down. Guilt is a wasted energy. Guilt is a debt that you can never repay.
Lets play a game. Lets call it, "The Bank of Guilt". Today, we're going to pay back your guilt as if we were repaying a bank loan. Lets pretend that you have a stack of monopoly money. Get out a stack of post it notes and physically do this exercise.
1. Outline your guilt.
What is that about? Did you get a divorce? Do drugs? Have an affair? Lie? Cheat? Steal? It's important to define what you feel guilty for. It may take you some time to soul search and get a clear definition. Sit down alone and spend some time with your journal.
2. Choose how to repay it.
Guilt is endless. We will bend over backwards to make endless efforts to make up for the feeling of wrongness. And this cycle doesn't work for us or anyone else's greater good. Often it enables some shit behavior from someone else that we keep feeding into because we believe something is our fault. The only place that exists in reality is your head.
Now. We're going to choose how to repay that sucker. Get out your post it notes/wanna be Monopoly money. I want you to write the things you need to do to repay what you think you did wrong. For example take a $500 Monopoly bill and label it "I said I was sorry" in an authentic apology. Take another and label it, with a kind act you did to try and make up for your perceived wrong. Keep going. In order to alleviate the guilt, pay back the bank. This isn't a student loan debt where the interest is higher than the payment plan anymore. If the debtor won't accept your efforts, that's on them. Drop your Monopoly money at "The Guilt Bank" door and give yourself kudos.
If you've been on this guilt trip for a while, chances are you may find you've already paid this off. This is your definition and creation of when enough is enough.
3. Draw a line in the sand.
Once you can deposit the last $100 Monopoly bill in "The Guilt Bank". You have to draw a line in the sand. And step across it. This is where you are free. And this is where you have to figure out what that means for you. What are you going to do different? Who are you without that nasty ick hanging over your head? Do you need more boundaries and tough love? Can you be present to a sense of gratitude in your life?
4. Gratitude is your key to freedom.
Once you can find gratitude in your situation. This physically shifts the energy of any situation to something greater. The anger, resentment, guilt dissipate. The way you treat someone is kinder. You find strength in you once again. The strength and happiness you carry inside yourself will always contribute more to the world around you than your sadness.