Monday, April 13, 2009

Guilt: Barrier to Happiness

I think so many of us are too hard on ourselves for what we didn’t accomplish or what we should have done. The first step is to forgive yourself for all the things you didn’t do that you should have and all the things that you did do that you shouldn’t have. Get rid of the guilt. Negative feelings don’t do you much good. The way to deal with them is to forgive yourself and forgive others. . . .

Forgiveness helps you come to terms with the past. I've learned how to forgive myself, and this has helped me no longer feel deep regrets or sadness about my past.

Morrie Schwartz

Morrie Schwartz has been one of my mentors. His outlook on life was so profound that dying to him was no more than returning back to the Father's loving arms. He died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The book written by Mitch Albom about him entitled "Tuesdays With Morrie" was one bestseller. In that book we could take a glimpse of Morrie's positive outlook in life and how to live our life to the fullest.
His insight about guilt is so true. Unless we unburden the guilt inside of us we could never be happy. It is not that to become happy is conditional, it is only that what prevents us from becoming happy are the things which we unconsciously accumulated since birth. Guilt is one of those things.
When we were young we were taught by people around us, our family included, to feel guilty of the little things that we failed to do even if it is not within our responsibility to do so. Like, we are made to feel guilty when others are unhappy with our actions. Sure, we do commit mistakes but the fact that one's happiness does not depend on other people's actions should not make us feel guilty.
So in order to be happy let us forgive ourselves for the things we failed to do and the things we are to do but did not. Let us face the guilt. Let us talk to it and come to terms with it. Let us forgive ourselves, for there is no one who would stick to us through thick and thin other than ourselves. This way it is easier to pass along happiness' highway with a lighter load.

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