I've been thinking alot about guilt and shame lately.... ya, I know, not exactly an uplifting topic to think about, but it's a topic that gets brought up in coaching sessions often, and I know it's something we all experience and carry around like an overburdened pack mules.
I have also been thinking about guilt, shame and remorse quite often lately because I have made it a personal quest to expand my life and practice being more compassionate. Being compassionate to me translates to not being judgmental, and forgiving those (in the words of the Lords Prayer) who have trespassed against me, and it's also about forgiving myself. It's about ultimate kindness and self-care.
Some guilt is valid, we did something wrong ... and we were either caught in the act, or if we actually "got away with it" we may feel so remorseful for our wrong doings we can't live with ourselves..... much like our friend Denver....
Or the time I found the remote control chewed up.....
And soon discovered the culprit:
The remorse on Denvers face is undeniable, and Lexi clearly showed she felt badly for eating the remote control. Denver and Lexi are not "bad dogs".... and when shown loving kindness, they (because they are dogs, and live in the moment) quickly let go of their feelings of guilt and remorse and resumed to their normal happy, people pleasing and fun loving selves....
So why is it so difficult for us humans to do the same? To let go of shame and guilt? We are also natural people pleasers. We just want to feel accepted and loved, but most of the time, after falling from grace, we are the ones who do not permit ourselves forgiveness - we stand in the way of our own redemption.
I personally am very familiar with self judging, self conviction and self damnation. For some reason, my ego (my Gremlin - I've named her Cecilia) thinks I am supposed to be more perfect than everyone else. Cecilia thinks that I am supposed to have all the answers, be diligent with my finances, and make way more money. Cecilia also thinks that I should be much more educated, well spoken, and polished like a brand new penny. As a result, I constantly fear that I am letting everyone down. I fear I am a disappointment to my family, to my friends, and to my partner, and yes, I sometimes feel like I failed Destiny, and I am racked with guilt that I do not give enough care to Lexi.
Since moving out on my own, getting divorced, losing my job and starting my own business - I made mistakes, alot of mistakes. Some were avoidable - they could have been easily averted had I set aside my pride and asked for help. Some I needed to make, otherwise, I would not be where I am today, but what I am left with is a pile of debt, and a few bruises to my credit score. But what I am learning is guilt, shame and remorse is not going to pay the bills... Whats done, is done. I am also going to acknowledge that I did the best I could, and in this present moment, all is well.
I read somewhere once that carrying around shame is like hiking up a mountain and each time you stub your toe on a rock, you reach down and pick up the rock and put it in your back pack.
It's time to put down the sack, stand up straight, and take a good look at the view. It's time to hike up this mountain without the guilt, shame and remorse that has been weighing me down.
Suze Orman was just recently on Oprah's Life Class, and she said the first step to financial freedom is to BE HONEST. I believe that is the first step to everything. Get honest with yourself - get real.
All journeys need a good map, and a compass. My map is my financial plan I created with my financial coach, Cindy. My compass is what will bring me back to center.... and I am leaning into meditation and exercise.. with that, practice makes .... well, I am not going to say perfect, because Cecilia would like that. Practice makes progress. If the journey gets challenging, I may need a walking stick - support (friends and family) to help me through the rough spots.
Lastly, I need to stop picking up more rocks. Stop beating myself over the head with them too.... I trip, I stumble... but sometimes a stumble is what prevents a fall.
Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind. ~Buddha