I know you must feel guilt or shame at times. We all do. The more we have been hurt, unseen, or unloved, mostly by ourselves, the more easily guilt or shame will find us. Once they have, the more desperately they will want to stay with us. Simply because they have nowhere else to go. No other purpose but to haunt us with our past. Open the door and listen to them, maybe even let them in -they are family, after all- but don’t let them overstay their welcome.
The thing is, when you look at life as energy, where everything is made of waves and particles, where everything is potentially everything, everything has its frequency and density. Things that feel light -such as love, peace, and bliss- are light in both frequency and density. Things that feel heavy -such as fear, anger, or apathy- are heavy. Feeling these emotions weighs heavy on your heart, right? Even literally.
Of all the things that are heavy on the heart, guilt and shame are the heaviest. Once you carry those, they will not only weigh you down. They will keep you down. Until you release them. Please do. As soon as you can.
As soon as you identify a feeling as guilt, replace it with responsibility. Guilt is passive for both you and the other person. While you are the offender, guilt lets you play the victim. It’s the perfect excuse to do nothing and hold all parties involved captive in the past. Responsibility, however, is the ability to respond. You own up to what you did and take responsibility for making sure the other person not only knows you regret it, but you will also do everything in your power to make sure you will not do it again, preferably not to anyone. As soon as you promise yourself to do better next time, you will much easier be able to let go of guilt. If you do not intend to do better next time, however, don’t you dare apologize. Your words will mean nothing and the nothingness of your words will wound the person you are trying to make amends with. Apology without action will only make things worse.
The same goes for shame. The main difference between guilt and shame is this: guilt usually hurts two parties. Shame is more discrete, but not less destructive. Shame is self-hurt. It is you punishing yourself for whatever you feel you need to be punished for. Either in the eyes of the outside world or in the eyes of your inner critic. Please remember that self-punishment doesn’t serve anyone. Shame doesn’t serve anyone. What shame does is make you want to be invisible or even disappear, but that will not change anything for the better. Only for worse. It makes you disconnect from the other and from your true, lovable, worthy, more than good enough, self. If you are able to stay connected to your true self, beyond your shame, then in time you can learn again not to punish yourself, but to simply feel the emotion, decide what really happened and choose to take responsibility for what did happen. Let’s say something bad really did happen and you are to blame: So you failed at being your best self. Try again. Reconnect with the other. Apologize if an apology is in place. And if not, be a little kinder to yourself. Maybe even tell your inner critic: ‘Thank you, but I will no longer be needing your services. I am good enough now.’
Then you forgive yourself. But we’ll go into that later.