Many of us carry a burden of regrets in life.
We can all recall times in the past when we wish we had said something differently, handled something better, been more confident, not so sensitive, and the list goes on.
Just to top it off, our hindsight “rubs it in”, telling us “you should have known better”. Sound familiar?!
It *is* possible to put the past in its place, and to be gracious to ourselves from here on in – it’s called letting go of guilt.
Steps to Letting Go of Guilt
Firstly, gaining clarification within ourselves about “Which part of this situation really was my responsibility?” and “Which part was not actually mine to look after?” can ease the burden of unnecessary guilt.
Secondly, with hindsight, we can see past events through the lens of our current knowledge, but the trick is to remind ourselves that we did not have the same knowledge back at that time. Be gracious, forgiving towards yourself, understanding of the learning curve between past events and today’s reality. Notice the journey, and the wisdom that has come with time.
Counselling can be a way to facilitate this thought process. Talking through regrets, or through stories from the past that have left you disappointed in yourself or uncertain about whether to feel guilty, can provide clarification and insight, and free you up to focus on the present and the future.
Author: Naomi Griffin, BA (Psych & Music); Grad Dip in Pastoral Couns; PG Dip Psych; Grad Cert Case Management; Grad Cert Ed Studies (Career Development); STAP; MAPS; MCCOUNP.
Please Note: Naomi is not currently practising at Vision Psychology, but is continuing to provide supervision for provisional (including 4+2 and 5+1) and registered psychologists, and for ministry agents in the wider Christian community. If you would like information regarding supervision, or want to book an appointment with a Christian psychologist, please contact Reception on 1800 877 924.
Please Note: Naomi is not currently practising at Vision Psychology, but is continuing to provide supervision for provisional (including 4+2 and 5+1) and registered psychologists, and for ministry agents in the wider Christian community. If you would like information regarding supervision, please complete the contact form below and Naomi will contact you directly.