Guilt slows us down. I think it is supposed to in the short term to create a window of reflection. But after a few minutes it bogs us down and swallows us up and moving forward through the morass becomes impossible. When you hear that tiny nagging voice inside your head, don’t ignore it – deal with it immediately. When you hear the sucking sound of disgrace and disillusion ask yourself ” what is deeply buried here?” If you answer that “I messed up” then ask ” how did I mess up?” ” what are the consequences?” “Who has been hurt?” ” Do I need to make amends?” Do it fast, do it fully and do it often. Guilt hates the true side of vulnerability – the recognition that we are not alone and that there are others in our lives that we need deeply. Guilt loves vulnerability that looks like isolation and self pity. Don’t give her space in your head and heart to draw you away from others and into dejection and sorrow. Stand up, speak up, make up and move on. The bandaid comes off cleanly when you do it quickly. There may be some scars and the cut might not be completely healed but this formula goes a long way to treating the wound.
The admission of guilt and the conviction to make amends keeps you humble, You are forced to display some of your warts and own them. In humility, relationships improve and long held views give way to new and improved possibilities.
When you fess up and fix what you messed up, it shows courage and a recognition that you are willing to admit your foibles and take risks to mend fences and relationships. Hiding behind curtains of denial, that everyone sees through, say ” I am more concerned about how I pretend I am than how you know I am. My rep is more important than our relationship.” Demonstrate great courage.
If you get trapped in a guilt bubble, your time and resources are no longer yours. The energy it takes to avoid the acknowledgement is exhausting and a terrible use of these assets. But sincere atonement saves time and resources and as soon as the confession leaves your mouth a weight is lifted. Even the reaction of the other(s) isn’t as important as the immediate intimacy that you feel with your true self. You will be better, will do better, and relationships will be restored – seems like three great reasons to admit, act and atone.
Make Today Remarkable, by getting rid of guilt,