Guilt is one of the severe depressive element. Once it stuck in your mind. it becomes difficult to claim your inner peace. Your mind keeps on reminding you of the shame and put you down. Getting out of guilt requires a thorough analysis from the distance. Recently I came across a case. I want to discuss it with you as an example.
A young strong-headed witty guy made a Facebook account as female. He started flirting with the boys and enjoying it. Another innocent guy fell in love with his proxy. Former playing girl as per his own perception of an ideal lady who is educated, sensible and charming. Now the boy he was playing with become extremely serious and asked him to meet. Like his style, he started ignoring him but the second guy persists on telling him how emotionally he got involved and how badly he wanna give meaning to this relationship.
The guy revealed the truth and apologized. But the other person found it hard to swallow and neglected it completely. He was so emotionally involved that he wants that girl to be part of his life at any cost. He tried to help him shake all this off but he was not listening; believing she is making up the story to get rid of him. As the player listened to his emotional state and the damage he had, he himself became upset and enter the state of regret and guilt.
How he analyzed his situation
The young man believed he did wrong. He asked forgiveness from Allah and felt sorry for his deeds. He promised himself he will never do that again in life.
Where he was stuck in
He has that constant guilt that due to him an innocent person is no more fully alive. He lost the ability to trust and is in constant pain. The guy was insisting him that even if he is saying the truth and not a girl, just keep on playing the role of her. He wanna keep on talking to that girl who compelled him to open up and was always there to give him better suggestions. The guy said I may pretend and keep on playing that role of a girl but if I think deep, it makes me feel like I am gay. It is horrible to satisfy a person for his emotional stability. But since I am the cause of it, maybe I have to. He was also disturbed if Allah will forgive him or not.
Looking from the distance
First of all, I appreciated the fact that he not only admits his fault but also feel sorry about it. He understood to take responsibility for his deeds. It is also good that he revealed the truth and asking Allah for forgiveness. And finally, it is great that he promised himself not to do this again in his life.
Then I asked him to forget the fact that it is his story and start looking at it from distance. He needs to ask himself following questions
- If you came across this story. What would you have thought of that guy? He said he will think he is stupid. Who will attach to somebody on FB in this era and open up so much to a stranger? so intelligent
- What do you think of him after he got the truth and he is still denying… I will laugh at him and if he remains in the state? I will slap him. How stupid he is.
I asked the guy to laugh at him. And feel normal. By looking at the same incident from a distance or from the third eye, he understood that he is not the only one who was at the wrong end. The other person was not right. And his behavior is also awkward. He must have rather felt like embarrassed and pissed off.. be angry, laugh at himself rather insisting on living in the false reality and denying it.
So if the other person is not accepting, it means he rather needs counseling and help. He needs to get out of this world. And somehow he is also responsible for his state and needs to take that responsibility.
To Err is human, there is no one without a dark side. Allah forgives
First and foremost we need to understand that not every human is perfect. And Allah doesn’t want perfection from man. The most important thing is knowing where you stand and if you have committed any sin how to repent and going back to the right path. Secondly, Allah loves to forgive and He accepts you as you are if you keep on checking yourself and strive. He knows the heart. So make sure to keep your intention and heart aligned.
Forgive yourself and embrace imperfection
The hardest part of this condition is to finally forgive yourself. Accept your fault, sin or anything and move on with the aim to excel.
At the end of the session, the guy was suggested to write down the blog post on how one can save himself from being a fool at social media. Because of his expertise.
No matter what the guilt is, it is a trap of the mind. To err is human and accepting your fault is your character. So don’t be trapped but take life as a journey towards improvement.
Key Steps to overcome guilt
Take the magnifying glass down. Analyze from distance or See from the eyes of the third person
Analyze the situation from the eye of the third person; from a distance and without judging yourself. You can also take help of a sensible friend or a counselor. Tell the situation with the aim to have a better understanding of how others take it
No matter what your situation is; There are 3 possibilities
- Your intention was good, you gave your best and something turned out really bad. There were circumstances, priorities, and a particular situation
- Your intention was good but you could have done more to prevent a situation. But you never thought that way until now. You can only see the other options now.
- Your intention was not right because of any self-interest but now you know you were wrong. You never assume it will turn out this bad
When you will not judge yourself. You will understand where you stand. Learn your mistake. You may identify that the situation or circumstances were not aligned. Or you understood it better later.
The outcome of this critical evaluation must be
- clarity of why you did what you did.
- lesson learned
Once you are done with the first assignment. Next step is to accept all the results and forgive yourself. The outcome of this exercise is
Set of principals; you will know what you can do next time to avoid being in the same situation again.
Ask forgiveness and strive for a better person
If you are a religious person then it will also include asking forgiveness from Allah. And repenting.
As a rule of thumb, a private sin or mistake requires privately connecting Lord and asking forgiveness. A public sin requires publicly repent. If it is a wrong deed towards a person than asking forgiveness from that person is important too. So repent and pass through this.
Some people put a question like what if other person doesn’t forgive you. If it is the case do we still have a chance to improve and move on. Remember no matter what YOU HAVE DOne. If at the core of your heart, you know what you did. Accept it. And want forgiveness. Be sorry and try all your best to be a better person. You can be a better person and have faith that you will be. As Allah is forgiving and if a person does not. Ask Allah to help you with this. But move on and be good to others now. Make sure if one person believes you wrong as per your past; there are 10 more who believe you because of your current deeds.
Overthinking? Try Self-affirmation
In case you find it helpless and dwell into overthinking periodically. I will suggest adopting a self-affirmation routine for at least 21 days. You can define any words based on the following guidelines:
I did this because of this. But I learned from my experience. Allah has forgiven me. I have forgiven myself too. Now I am moving on to self-improvement path.
You need to follow the 5-second rule. As soon as a stream of thought hit your mind. Take breath. count to 5. practice self-affirmation and move on to the self-improvement.