Guilt is to the soul what pain is to the body.
(Elder David A. Bednar)
Why is it that so many of us suffer from this debilitating emotion? Even if not constant, we've all been there.... We've all allowed that crushing feeling to dampen our day and dull our spirits at some point, some more often than others. Why..? Why do we insist on torturing ourselves for past events or actions that simply cannot be changed - where most of the time our imagination has vastly exaggerated any potential damage done.
Ok yes - of course there is a time for remorse, regret and yes guilt. I'm not saying that a psychopathic axe murderer should skip around singing zipadeedoodah all day, no of course not - but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about that everyday, self-imposed supressing guilt that creeps up and swamps us in the depths of negativity for no 'real' reason. Usually a result of the ridiculously high standards we seem to set ourselves these days! Was it too many biscuits? Or too much wine? Did we skip the gym? Tell a white lie? Lose our patience perhaps a little unnecessarily? Well hey! You know what? It's ok! We can't be perfect - not all the time.
Yes it's great to have goals, aspirations, aims, to want be the best version of ourselves and even to keep improving but we have to cut ourselves some slack too. There has to be an off switch, moments where the 'conscience police' are off duty. We have to give ourselves a break sometimes. Most of the guilt we feel, self imposed, as no one can make us feel it unless we allow ourselves to, is causing us more harm that the actual effect of whatever it is we supposedly did wrong. Guilt is debilitating physically and mentally, it drains us of energy and of spirit.. So let it go!
Feeling guilty burns serotonin (the chemical in our brains related to well being and feeling good) and it burns it much faster than we can reproduce it! So we are causing a notable physical effect by something that is more often than not, not nearly as bad as we perceive it to be.
So don't give too much importance to whatever it is you did or didn't do because you are simply multiplying the problem.
No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. So... get over it! Move on... and smile - but most importantly within, smile within... from the inside out. You are allowed to be happy despite your downfalls!