GUILT / SHAME
Beach Hypnosis… Hypnotherapy can help you forgive yourself, get out of your own jail and stop self-sabotaging!
Guilt is one of the most destructive, debilitating emotions we humans possess. It is absolutely useless to anguish over something which has been done that we cannot change. We all find ourselves buried in guilt and shame because of the hurt and harm we have caused others in the past. How do we deal with them in a healthy way that helps us heal and get rid of the guilt and shame and start to lead a life that is positive and productive?
First we must look at what guilt and shame really are.
Guilt is an emotion that arises from around thoughts of the hurt and pain that we cause others. Guilt is also the ego’s way of saying, “Look at all of the bad things I have done. I am no good and I don’t deserve any happiness.” Guilt is a pity party, a way for the illusion that we call ego to stay alive. If we focus on the guilty feelings and shameful thoughts, we are focused on the self, and we are not dealing with the problem in a straightforward manner. So we have guilt reminding us of all the wrong deeds we have done, and shame telling us we are bad. These two emotions keep us in a cycle of thoughts and feelings that keeps us acting out on others and ourselves in a totally negative way, and we build negative karma that keeps us in a suffering state.
What can we do?
First we start by loving ourselves. We look inside and see that we are in need of loving kindness ourselves and that we need to let go of the guilt over our past wrong deeds and realize that we are not bad. We do bad things and regret them and vow not to repeat them, but we are not bad. That helps us let go of the shame and we can start to respect ourselves and show ourselves love.
Then we can start caring about others and showing them loving kindness. We can start doing good things for others and make up for the bad we have done.
We take the unskilled focus off of ourselves by realizing that guilt and shame are negative emotions surrounded by negative thoughts that continue to feed our ego in a negative way. It keeps that ego, that sense of “I” alive, and it does not allow us to focus on anything positive.
Once we let go of guilt and shame we can focus on ourselves in a skillful way that does not feed the ego, but rather heals our minds by way of opening up to loving kindness, first to ourselves and then outwards toward all sentient beings.
Healthy people use self-chastisement to steer themselves back on course. They learn the lesson, make amends, modify their behavior, lose the guilt, and move on with life. The problem is that few people can actually do this.
It seems that just about everyone feels the pain of guilt over something they have done, or should have done. And where does it get them? Nowhere positive!
The unresolved guilt takes us to: alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, unfulfilled lives, unattained potential, relationship problems, physical ailments including unexplained bodily pains and other types of self-destructive behaviors.
The “If Onlys” can be unsettling: “If only I had raised the children better; if only I had taken a different route home; if only I had told him or her how I really felt; if only I had seen it coming; if only I had made a different choice…” We can “if only” ourselves to death.
Maybe some of us are not as prone to the if onlys as others, but we all suffer occasionally from this mental aberration to one extent or another. The if onlys are yet another form of guilt, and carry serious risks to our mental health. They can also lead to shame if we begin to feel bad about ourselves instead of something we did. We never live up to our true potential because we perpetually denigrate ourselves right down to the foundation of our very soul.
Guilt over childhood mistakes
Childhood guilt can cause much deep-seated pain to a person. Mistakes we made in childhood should be understood and reckoned with in the same manner as any other mistakes we make. As long as we learned the lesson, we are better for having had the experience than before it. It has added to the total of who we are, and given us cause for empathy toward others.
Another common childhood trial is that of divorce. Some children may feel very responsible and therefore, very guilty when their parents divorce. They may carry this guilt into adulthood before they realize that it was not their fault at all. In fact, it had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with their parents. Once this realization occurs, the guilt will usually melt away.
Other childhood mistakes can seem very unreasonable or even laughable to adults, but weigh heavily on such impressionable and inexperienced young ones.
Hypnotherapy can help you get over your guilt and shame!
Interested in learning more about Hypnotherapy? Check out the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association.