Insights and Inspirations: How Have You Overcome Guilt and Shame?
Guilt and shame can stay with us throughout life. It holds us back from new experiences, closes our mind, limits our beliefs, and stunts our potential. How have you personally overcome feelings of guilt and shame? What method do you use to forgive yourself? Please share your personal experiences.
We asked some of our experts, our WU World Changers how they overcome feelings of guilt and shame, and we received some really inspiring answers! Read what they had to say below.
Be sure to connect with each one of them directly!
“Guilt and Shame were so much a part of my life, for so many years, that I couldn’t even recognize I carried them. I was so full of shame I would not allow others to look me in the eyes, convinced they could see something that was \’wrong\’ with me, that I could not see. I’ve spent years learning about emotions and how they work. Here’s what I did. Through my work with anger, I discovered that guilt is actually a form of anger— anger we believe we don’t have a right to have. Each time I felt guilty, I sought the answer to this question: \’What could I possibly feel angry about here?\’ Once I found the answer, I processed the anger out of me. Guilt lifted. In addition, I learned that guilt is a synthetic (people-made) emotion that serves an almost totally negative purpose, causing the bearer to freeze (emotionally) in the past. I decided guilt would have no place in my life.
With shame, I learned it indicates that \’Something is Wrong with Me.\’ I realized that babies (barring birth defects) have nothing wrong with them. This means I learned to believe something was wrong with me. What is learned can be unlearned! I posted 3 x 5 cards everywhere in my home: \’There is nothing wrong with me!\’ For months, I read them aloud every time they caught my eye. I also focused on what was right with me, reminding myself, aloud, of those things. I appreciated myself and expressed gratitude for all that was right with me. I restored my faith in myself. Making such basic changes, and continuing my practice as needed, has removed these emotional states from my repertoire altogether. Now, at age 75, I can say they have nothing to do with me and my life!”
– Ilene Dillon
Emotional Mastery for Life
“Guilt and Shame are two of the most painful levels of emotion which someone can experience. Ultimately all negative emotions originate from Fear, and both of these emotions amplify it to such an extent that they conjure tormenting feelings of blame and humiliation. This form of pain is usually deeply ingrained due to a core belief or social conditioning, and the sufferer becomes so identified and consumed by it that they won’t even realize it. I lived like this for many years until I finally accepted my miserable situation and realized that it was all self-induced; I was my biggest critic.
It then dawned on me that I had a choice. Either, stay living in my own hell, or, break free from my mental shackles and live in a whole other realm. So, my first step was acknowledging that I was doing it to myself. This inspired a huge sense of relief by letting go of the painful past I had created. Secondly, I began noticing and observing all my negative self-talk in the head. My simple awareness of these thoughts resulted in a significant decline in negativity, both mental and emotional. Finally, I found time each day to still my mind and allow an inner peace to emerge and eventually dissolve all of my fears.”
– Gus Southey
Law of Attraction Coach, and Energy Healer
“After living many years in active substance abuse addiction, it’s no surprise that I had a great deal of guilt and shame once I got clean.
You would think that getting clean was enough to be grateful for. However, after years of numbing my feelings with drugs, when I was left with nothing but \’me,\’ I quickly felt all sorts of guilt for my prior behavior and actions. From experience, I can say it’s challenging to work a recovery program when you are feeling so many negative emotions. With my body working overtime to get past my chemical imbalance, it was a huge distraction from my recovery program.
That’s when I knew that I had to get on the other side of my guilt and shame if I had any hopes of maintaining sobriety.
Even though I am responsible for everything I have done or will do in my life, it is imperative to let go of any feelings of self-blame and guilt. I can’t change the past, but I damn sure can work hard today, to ensure myself a positive future.
We have to take control of our happiness, and learn to live in the solution, not in the problem.”
– Ashley Brewer
Grateful Recovering Addict, WU Blog Manager, and WU Executive Assistant
We hope you enjoyed this week’s Insights and Inspirations on “How do You Overcome Guilt and Shame?” Be sure to meet us back here this time next week for another installment of “Insights and Inspirations.”
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