Permission to Forgive Ourselves: Releasing Guilt

Guilt is temporary and unproductive, it is all too ironic that being hard on ourselves is the easy way out.

 


Learning to accept the things that we perceive as wrong can be a difficult task for many of us. Often we have been brought up to accept that it is normal to feel guilty about our actions and that by doing so we will make everything seem alright within ourselves. Even though we might feel that we have a reason to make up for the choices we have made, it is much more important for us to learn how to deal with them in a healthy and positive way, such as through forgiveness and understanding.

When we can look back at our past and really assess what has happened, we begin to realize that there are many dimensions to our actions. While feeling guilty might assuage our feelings at first, it is really only a short-term solution. It is all too ironic that being hard on ourselves is the easy way out. If we truly are able to gaze upon our lives through the lens of compassion, however, we will be able to see that there is much more to what we do and have done than we realize. Perhaps we were simply trying to protect ourselves or others and did the best we could at the time, or maybe we thought we had no other recourse and chose a solution in the heat of the moment. Once we can understand that dwelling in our negative feelings will only make us feel worse, we will come to recognize that it is really only through forgiving ourselves that we can transform our feelings and truly heal any resentment we have about our past.

Giving ourselves permission to feel at peace with our past actions is one of the most positive steps we can take toward living a life free from regrets, disappointments, and guilt. The more we are able to remind ourselves that the true path to a peaceful mind and heart is through acceptance of every part of our lives and actions, the more harmony and inner joy we will experience in all aspects of our lives.

DailyOm

 

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Comment by Alexa on January 6, 2011 at 12:59pm

Well said Panagiotis. Allowing all of my feelings out in safe, healthy places really helped me release alot. And I mean alot. But yes, I hear you too. Well said.

Comment by Panagiotis on January 3, 2011 at 12:29pm
Easier said than done. When our actions and wrongs impact only us, we are capable of forgiving ourselves at some point after having sufficient time to work through them, however when other people lives are negatively affected by our actions and wrongs then the job of forgiveness becomes far more burdening and we are forced to carry those burdens with us while we go through life. True, through time the impact of our actions lesson their grip on our conscience, but we can never forget even if we try to.

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