Do you suffer from feeling guilty? Self-Acceptance to Stop Feeling Guilty
by N J Howell
In Universal Flow
Let the Light Shine
Remember that old gospel hymn, "Just as I am"? It is a powerful song because it releases us from one of the biggest challenges of the human experience, guilt. Guilt can be a helpful response if it triggers self-evaluation and inspection, resulting in behavior that is more in alignment with our higher purpose. However, if used that way, it should only last a few seconds before it is recognized and transformed into self-acceptance. Is that the case in your own life? Handling guilt through self-acceptance is the subject of this spiritual wellness article.
Question on spiritual development:
I feel guilty. I feel guity a lot, about things I do and things I don't do. How do you deal with guilt?
Healing Facilitation response:
Guilt, shame, regret, self-doubt and low self-esteem all have similar vibrational energy. They are basically the feeling of someone who struggles self-doubt and with self-acceptance. I have certainly had my share of guilt, mostly over personal boundaries. As a healing facilitator, the demands of the work can overwhelm. If I didn't feel up to helping someone who asked me, I'd go into guilt. Although it would have been right action to show compassion to each person who came to me for help, I was just beating myself up for not being selfless, and ended up resenting people.
One of the biggest shifts in me, with regard to guilt, came when I understood that everyone has an agenda. Every person you interact with has things they want out of life. It is extremely common in our world for those who want something, anything really, to think they must get it from another person. There is is this idea in relationships that "if you love me, you'd do this for me." when really, that is a manipulation of another person's will. Accepting others unconditionally is hard. I work at it every day. I catch myself wanting others to be different, for the world to be different, a lot. The key for me is discovering right action in those moments. Right action, that which is appropriate at a personal spiritual level, is NEVER action that is stimulated by guilt. Having said that, sometimes it feels better to just do what the other person wants and avoid conflict. Sometimes, we may make that choice for our own peace of mind.
For decades, I spent precious lifeforce energy in resentment and guilt that I have since learned to channel into clarity, spiritual self-evaluation, and transformative thought. However, when I looked at the situation without the emotional charge of guilt I realized that it was because I valued the needs of someone else more than my own or because I had more of a need to avoid conflict or gain acceptance of the other person, than I did to follow my own sense of right action. Once I recognized that, I began reminding myself that just because someone pressures me toward an action, it doesn't mean I need to feel bad about refusing that action. I also reminded myself that I was just as valuable as whomever was seeking my help and eventually, I believed it. At that point, it was easier weigh the situation clearly, determine my appropriate response, and to be better equiped to say no, if it was not in alignment with what I felt would be right action.
How to diffuse emotional charge:
One thing that makes guilt so easy to take on is that those who pressure you toward an action because of their own agenda are often intense and energetically needy and they can be quite persuasive. Here are some tips for releasing the emotional charge and hooking in:
* Practice regular meditation - by getting still more often, and quieting the mind chatter, it eventually becomes easier to do the same thing in a guilt-producing scenario.
* Get energetic healing work - When I can, I like to get regular sessions from energetic healers who help my body relax and release emotional stress,
* Remember to breathe - When we stress, we almost stop breathing sometimes. Simply remembering to take deep, slow breaths can help bring mental clarity and strength.
* Remember the soverign nature of the other person. We sometimes get caught in that trap of duality where we think of the other as needing something and ourselves as being responsible for giving that which is needed. It is hardly ever the case, in my experience. Just because a situation of need exists, it does not follow that we are responsible for filling it. By reminding ourselves that we are involved in a situation with a masterful being of Light who is responsible for their own walk can help release some of the guilt of saying no, if no is what feels like right action for us.
4. Walking out in nature to calm my mind and body tensions is a practice I recommend, not just for helping bring a relaxed, more clear energy to the body but in particular before stressful meetings or interactions with people we know may attempt (usually unconsciously) to manipulate us through guilt.
What is right action?
I define right action as the choice most in alignment with ultimate good for all concerned including you. Sometimes, in deciding on a course of action, we focus entirely outward and forget what is right for us. Of course, I don't know what it is that you can't help doing. It may not have any parallel to what I went through but the solution could be the same. Try practicing regular meditation, getting help from energetic healers who could help your body relax and release emotional stress, and walking out in nature to calm your mind and body tensions. Also try loving yourself more. Speaking into the mirror each day (whether you feel stupid doing it or not, whether you believe it or not)
I love you
I accept you
I forgive you
Does this mean you keep doing something that is wrong or harmful to you? NO. It means you accept yourself, just as you are, which is what God does. From that base of self-love, self-acceptance, and forgiveness, you can begin to get clear enough in your mind to see the answer for yourself. If God can love you, so can you love what God made. It just takes practice and discipline and the choice, which you can make for yourself right now, to respect, love and honor your own journey through life. Let he who is without guilt throw the first stone ... I don't know anyone who can, but we can all choose to pursue right action.
Think about it. Would you care about someone you condemned as unworthy of caring about? When you stay in guilt, that's basically what you are saying about yourself. When guilt stops you, it's because you have decided you are not worth fighting for.
In order to
hear yourself think, literally, and get to right action in the particular situation you are feeling guilty about, you have to first accept yourself where you are, in love and without judgment. If there is an urge that asks you to look at your past behavior, and to make a change if it isn't in alignment with the Divine Being you strive to be, that can be a different experience than feeling guilt. It can be nudge toward remembering who you really are and aligning back up with that truth.
A few years ago I cam across a practice called H'Oponopono and noticed how similar it was to what I already did, but was even more powerful H'Oponopono is something I often do to help me get into a different relationship with whatever I feel I may have done, or not done, that is starting to make me feel the unhealthy, sort of sickening feeling of guilt. By saying following this very simple spiritual practice, I am able to shift so that I can look at the situation again and make whatever adjustment I need to make to get back on track with my life. Learn more about the Practice of H'Oponopono
Spiritual Health Disclaimer: This spiritual information is not given to replace needed mental health evaluation and treatment. If you experience feelings of self-hatred, self-loathing or guilt to the point that you might consider harming yourself or others, please seek professional mental health care, in addition to spiritual guidance.