Self-Forgiveness: Two Techniques to Banish Guilt and Shame

 

Self-forgiveness isn’t an easy thing to do. And it takes time. Our culture, along with many religions, create many opportunities for us to feel guilt over what we are or are not doing and to feel shame about who we are as a person–the fact that we weren’t perfect in the past, we aren’t perfect now, and we won’t be perfect in the future.

 

One technique that has helped me is sitting in silence, which I’ve talked about many times before.   I find that when I block out the world and quiet myself down, I gain perspective on that which I’m feeling guilty and unforgiving about.

I’ve often found that when I look closely at the situation, I realize my guilt and shame is rooted in the presumption that I had much more control in the situation than what I actually had.

For instance, I can’t control other people. As much as I would like to, as much as I would wish, hope, pray, bargain, beg, to have more control over others, I don’t and I won’t have control over others.   What they choose to do or choose not to do is out of my hands. That’s between them and Source to work out the consequences. All I can do is be mindful myself and my perceptions and my reactions and responses to those perceptions.

I’ve found that thinking through the situation with this realization in mind has helped me be more compassionate toward all involved–including myself–and has also helped me let go (forgive) myself and others.

 

Another technique I’ve found helpful is to turn my back on the past–to quit focusing on it.   I’ve found when I was mired in the past, the past became so big that it obscured the present moment.   And, since I wasn’t really living in the present, the result was that my future wasn’t too enticing; it looked like I’d have more of the same. Depressing thought and expectation, for sure!

Turning my attention to the present moment and the future helped cut the past down to size and loosened its grip on my life. As a result, I was able to see past situations more objectively. The past’s ability to distress and hurt me became less and less until, finally, it had no power over me and there was no room for it in the present or future.

 

Do you have a technique that helps you banish guilt and shame, that leads you to self-forgiveness?   Please share it in the comments below.   Thanks!

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Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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