Guilt always hurries toward its complement, punishment: only there does its satisfaction lie. ~Lawrence Durrell
The most useless phrase in the English language may be "If only I had . . . " What's done is done. Dwelling on past errors or missed opportunities is a terrible mistake. Some of our self-blame simply isn't justified: What happened wasn't our fault in the first place. And even when the failings were truly ours, the constant replay exaggerates and distorts what really happened way back then.
Guilt eats up a lot of energy that could be better used elsewhere. Most of us have already punished ourselves many times over. Isn't it time now to climb down off the rack, step away from the whipping post, and consider the debt settled? Enough is enough. We deserve a reprieve.
Self-esteem demands that we admit our mistakes and take responsibility for them. But it also demands that we accept and forgive what can't be relived. Endless self-recrimination has no place in recovery.
As my self-knowledge increases, my self-recrimination decreases.
H/T: Believing In Myself