On guilt and shame


Lately I gave in the cozy and melancholic atmosphere of late autumn afternoons, put me in a rather reflective state of mind. Taking long strolls while freezing my butt off definitely encouraged contemplative mood. Moreover, Christmas is around the corner, and it would be nice to really be able to enter this time with 'pure heart'. By this I mean the heart not cluttered with negative emotions. If I were to name the worst (or maybe, the most unpleasant) feelings, it would definitely be guilt and shame. What is so special about them, you ask? Why are they any better than anger, sadness or even despair? It is because, my friend, shame and guilt involve a whole ton of self-hatred and self-accusations, which are, basically, a weapon aimed at yourself.

Ok, it is just the beginning of the second paragraph, however, we can already draw a relatively clear conclusion out of what I have written. I used the word 'weapon' not without a reason, as it indicates some kind of a battle going on inside of you. As you may be aware, the reality we find ourselves in is very often (or even always) the reflection of our inner state,  hence, at the time being, you might be battling with the rest of the world, too. And you know what? It is completely fine. 

So, if you in a state of resistance and pushback, by definition you are isolating yourself from the world, as well as from life. Guilt makes you numb on the inside - you feel empty, 'dead' even. Paradoxically, you're in the great pain at the same time - pain caused by helplessness. And here, my friend, we come to another conclusion: you live in an illusion. Why? Because you are NOT helpless - actually, you are the furthest from that. 

What can you do in the situation you found yourself in? The answer may seem counterintuitive, as the best thing you can is... surrender. Allow for the wave of 'negative' emotions to overflow you, actually FEEL what is there inside of you. Your consciousness may resist this, however, try to find this trust in you which will allow you to go through this process. Cry, scream, throw plates (maybe just not the Rosenthal ones...) - basically, it's all about letting your feelings manifest themselves. From my own experience, this is the fastest way of letting them go. Moreover after some practice, you will probably not need to turn to such 'extreme' means of emotional release, breathing it all out will be enough.

This technique is also applicable if you struggle with any other emotions, of course. It needs practice, so don't be discouraged at first. Myself, I am still working on understanding and realising feelings which prevent me from feeling well. At most times, I at least attempt to have one goal in mind - act in order to be at peace, not on a battle with yourself. Be like these ducks swimming in a pond nearby - simple and without expectations. And just so beautiful in their incomplexity.

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