Feeling guilt after your divorce is a natural, normal thing. Letting go of that guilt is essential to your well-being and ability to completely move on. Acknowledging your part in what went wrong allows you to take responsibility. Once you do that, it’s time to implement some techniques that help you let go of that guilt. Letting go is difficult, and every person has to do it differently. Try all three to find the one or combination that work best for you. Once you let go of the guilt you can create a plan of action to avoid the behavior or actions that led to the guilt in the first place.
Releasing your pent-up feelings and guilt can take time. Journal your thoughts and feelings to see what triggers those guilty feelings or just to let it out. Sometimes letting it out is enough. If not, confess. You can keep it in your journal or write letters to your ex or whoever you feel like you wronged, including yourself. You don’t have to actually share these letters. Burn them or tear them up and flush them or release them somehow. If you’re not much for putting your words on paper find a way to symbolically release those feelings. For example, tear up bread or use rocks or pebbles and release them in a river or lake. Let each piece represent something you feel guilty about. The water can wash it away and cleanse your soul in the process.
Distract yourself. Every time you start to feel that guilt rising in the pit of your stomach, do something that makes you feel good. Try meditation, listening to soothing music, dancing or exercising. Forgive yourself and indulge in something that brings you joy. It can be as simple as a bubble bath by candlelight, a walk in the park, or a pedicure. Replacing the feelings of guilt with something that brings peaceful or energetic feelings will ease the guilt in time. You’ll notice that you’ll catch yourself before the guilt overwhelms you and in time those feelings won’t creep up on you at all. It’s a process, but it teaches you to retrain your thoughts so that you don’t wallow in guilt, but move forward with feelings of peace and joy.
Let go of your guilt by finding things to appreciate. The overwhelming negativity of guilt can be broken down by the positive and powerful feelings of appreciation. When you start to feel guilty, find something to be grateful for. It might be something huge, such as your health, job, or kids. It might be something as small as the blue sky, your scented lotion, or a bird you see from your window. Finding something to appreciate can also help you live in the moment, which leaves no room for guilt. If you’re completely present in this moment, there’s nothing to feel guilty for. You’re here, now. Take a deep breath and be grateful for something that’s right in front of you.
Find a technique that works for you and let go of any guilt you feel. You cannot change what has already happened, so give yourself a break and allow yourself to move on and enjoy your life. Guilt can eat you alive and benefits no one. Free yourself from that negativity.