Content warning: Portrayals of gun violence and suicidality.
Self-forgiveness can be difficult, particularly when you’ve made mistakes that have impacted the lives of other people. Ruminating on guilt isn’t helpful — it doesn’t help the people we’ve harmed with our actions, and it doesn’t help us grow — but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy thing to get over.
This brilliant short explores the idea of confronting mistakes and learning to accept them. It was directed by Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhad, two animators who have worked on a number of Pixar’s films. The pair wanted to use their craft to create something that wasn’t for children — that expressed mature ideas through mature themes.
Are you struggling with guilt? PsychCentral has a number of helpful recommendations:
- If you’ve been rationalizing your actions, take responsibility. “Okay, I did (or said) it.”
- Write a story about what happened, including how you felt about yourself and others involved before, during, and after.
- Analyze what your needs were at that time, and whether they were being met. If not, why not?
- What were your motives? What or who was the catalyst for your behavior?
- Does the catalyst remind you of something from your past? Write a story about it, and include dialogue and your feelings.
Those are just the first five tips, so check out the full article for more. And if your guilt or your past actions are causing you serious distress, consider talking to a professional. A gorgeous animated short might be relatable, but that will only take you so far.