Judge Me Not #3 – Regrets (Guilt Trip)

Your not so average reviewer is back again, this time with a rather controversial topic, Regrets, focusing on Guilt Drop. Not knowing what to expect, I dove right into this, albeit facing numerous technical issues with my Internet connection. 

We begin with a simple but meaningful check-in from the psychologist, asking how everyone was doing and feeling. There were 7 participants present, pretty decent showing this time around. Once again, the session had to be conducted virtually, but there were talks on making this face to face really soon once restrictions were lifted. 

Each participant was given the opportunity to share different scenarios where they felt guilty, and it was pretty interesting to note that people’s guilt could stem from childhood experiences, right up to the pettiest scenarios that remained fresh in their minds as a huge burden. We then carried out an activity where we each lifted a heavy object, symbolising our own guilt, and then were told to drop it or throw it away hard. The psychologist then made us describe how we felt after we dropped the object. I honestly felt I should have picked up something heavier and dropped it harder, because I did not experience the relief that the others had. Some participants described that dropping the object meant having to clean up whatever might have gotten broken. It was aptly explained then, as facing the consequences of letting go of that guilt, there would sometimes be a mess that needed to be cleaned up. 

The psychologist explained further to us, that we can never be 100% free from guilt, that we would always have at least 10% within us, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Anyone who claims that they have no guilt at all in their lives, most definitely have a sense of entitlement and superiority complex that they can do no wrong, and it is very much a heightened sense of ego. The existence of guilt in our lives serves as a reminder not to repeat the same mistakes, but instead to do better each time. 

She then proceeded to show a series of pictures to us, and asked us to describe what we saw and felt when we saw the visuals. Again, interesting to note the different perceptions each participant had towards these images, and how we carry and feel our own guilt in very different ways. Some participants shed tears at certain images while others remained unmoved. Some mentioned feeling disturbed, but in a very matter of fact manner. It was a revelation of sorts, the coping mechanisms each person develops over time when faced with painful or traumatic scenarios. 

This was further elaborated on how we perceive ourselves after facing a situation of regret or guilt. A participant shared an interesting childhood experience that caused her to carry regret to date, for not enjoying more extra curricular activities at school. She felt that she had missed out on so many things as a child, and in fact wishes she could turn back time. She started to perceive herself as less than adequate, because of this regret that she carried. A rather powerful phrase was shared by the psychologist, “Perception is Projection.” How we perceive ourselves, is how we project our identity and personality towards the world. This phrase left a deep impression on me, as I pondered on what sort of image I was sharing with the world, simply because of the regrets that I may be carrying, which had now shaped my personality of low self-esteem and self-worth (hey, acknowledgement is the first step towards recovery they say). The psychologist left us a little assignment, to write a letter to ourselves, on what made us feel guilty. It’s a letter that we can choose to share or keep private. A letter we can cherish or burn. What matters is, we pen it down and read it back to ourselves to understand the depth of that guilt we carried individually. 

I didn’t plan to tear up, but I did when I shared my own personal struggles with regrets over the years. What I received was overwhelming love and support from these women in their own unique ways. They each shared with me something positive that I should do for myself, to boost my self-esteem in little ways. It truly is amazing how a group of women meeting virtually for 2 hours a week, became the safety net I needed to fall and get back up stronger to continue the good fight. The session ended with a little homework for each of us to practice over the week, which is to cultivate positive self talk through mirror talk daily. Although it sounds simple and perhaps a little cheesy, we shall certainly discuss the effects of this little exercise in our next session to gauge how much it actually works. Your not so average reviewer, signing off here.