Drop the guilt and simply be

Guilt prevents you from being your true self – and from simply being.
Every once in a while, you will commit mistakes. Some of them may be simple and you can redeem yourself. But in some cases you cannot go back and undo what you did. In either case, the feeling of guilt lingers on – and in the cases where the damage owing to your actions is irreparable, the guilt refuses to go away. First, know that feeling this way, is something normal. But if you understand what guilt is, you will be able to deal with it better.
Guilt is an emotion always associated with the past. Therefore, in every sense, it is debilitating. Because, no matter what you do, you can’t change the past. But because, when feeling guilt, you tend to live only the past, you are held hostage by your guilt and miss out on the beautiful present, on living in the moment. Dropping the guilt does not mean you should not recognize your mistake or learn from your actions. I am not making a case for non-accountability. Indeed every mistake you make is an opportunity to learn and/or unlearn something. So, please reflect on what has happened. Just don’t keep clinging on to it ruefully, steeped in guilt and feeling perpetually depressed for your actions.
You must realize that there’s no one who is perfect. Each of us learns through stumbling, falling, getting up and moving on in Life. Each experience is a teacher. Each failure – and each success – is a lesson. We can only learn when we realize the consequences of our actions. The problem with guilt is that it arises along with your inner realization or awakening. And because the human mind thrives in the past, it projects your guilt forcefully and your guilt overpowers the inner awakening and wrests control. So, instead of saying what can I learn from my actions or what I must resolve not to do going forward, your mind insists that you keep hating yourself for doing what you did. That feeling of self-hate is guilt. It is totally useless and entirely crippling. The more time you spend hating yourself for what you did, the more depressed you will be. The more depressed you are, the less you will enjoy the Life that is happening to you. Interestingly, no other aspect of creation has the ability to feel guilty. An animal doesn’t feel guilt. It simply is. It will eat when it wants, it will mate when it wants, it will do whatever it wants, whenever it wants to do it! Period. But we humans will analyze each action and allow ourselves to mourn and brood over our actions.

As they say, sometimes, “Shit Happens”! And it is entirely possible that you caused it to happen. Instead of holding yourself guilty forever, accept the mistake, internalize the lesson it has to offer, resolve to act differently going forward and just move on. Clinging on to your guilt is not intelligent living – because it destroys the ability to live in the now.  
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Sharing when you are feeling low and lost is not a bad thing

Don’t ever feel embarrassed to admit that you are sad. If you are feeling low and lost, accept it, express it!

There are times in Life when you feel lost, tired, worn out and vulnerable. It happens to all of us. And when it does feel that way, the best thing to do is to share what you are feeling like. You will then find that the whole world around you comes together to make you feel warm and wanted. Truly, there’s more compassion in the world than you can even fathom – though, most often, it just doesn’t appear that way at all!

Most of the time we fight shy of sharing what we are going through with others because we wonder what they will think of us. Or we don’t want to “burden” others with our “sob stories”. Or perhaps, we don’t want to take any help from anyone should any be forthcoming after we share openly. There could be several other reasons. But all such justification does no good – neither to our morale nor to the situation. And, of course, many of us like to blame God for our trials, tribulations and fate!

A man was once sitting forlorn on the steps of a temple that he used to visit every day. His wife had deserted him. As had his young adult children. Because he was always grumpy, he had even become a social outcast. No one wanted to even call him to find out if he was alive or dead. That day, the man was very lonely and was feeling miserable. At the temple, where he meditated daily for an hour, the man had prayed for someone to whom he could tell his woes and cry his heart out. He asked God, in his prayer, if God could appear before him. After meditating, as he sat on the temple steps, a middle-aged woman approached him. She wore tattered clothes. But she looked very beautiful. There was twinkle in her eye. She approached the man for alms. When he looked away, the lady asked him if he needed help. She said, “You look lost and sad. If you want to share your grief, I can offer you a patient hearing.” The man simply continued to look away. She waited around for about an hour. And then she walked away. The next day, the man sat down for meditation again, at the temple. He asked God why God had not heard his prayer. Suddenly God spoke in his ear: “I heard you loud and clear. I even came up to you and asked you if you needed to share. I was willing to listen. But you looked away.” The man realized his folly and vowed never to take a prayer lightly again!

That’s pretty much the way many of us are. We don’t want to accept that we are feel low, weak and lost. We don’t want to share our grief when someone reaches out. We don’t want to express what we feel about ourselves, about Life. Indeed, to wear your Life on your sleeve or not, is a personal choice. But if you choose not to, don’t pine anymore about your situation. Don’t wallow in self-pity and grief. It doesn’t get you anywhere. People are so busy with their own lives, they have no time to “surmise” that you may be having a problem and that you need help. But if you bring it up, and share it openly, people will pause to listen and help. Or connect you with someone that can help. Or perhaps they will give you a hug – which will make you feel warm and wanted. Or, surely, they will pray for you!

At the end of the day, it’s your acceptance of your feeling low and lost and your humbly seeking help that leads people to shower compassion on you!