November 3


Today's Quotation:

I think so many of us are too hard on ourselves for what we didnít accomplish or what we should have done.  The first step is to forgive yourself for all the things you didnít do that you should have and all the things that you did do that you shouldnít have.  Get rid of the guilt.  Negative feelings donít do you much good.  The way to deal with them is to forgive yourself and forgive others.

Morrie Schwartz

Today's Meditation:

It's nice to see words like this-- words that encourage us to be realistic with ourselves, to allow ourselves the ability to make mistakes without beating ourselves up over them forever.  I know so many people who don't allow themselves to live life fully because they're still making themselves pay for past mistakes (real and imagined) while if they could somehow let go of the guilt and start living their lives guilt-free, the amount of positive energy that they could give to the world would be truly incredible.

You see, that's what the guilt does-- it holds back our positive forces and keeps us from sharing them.  It makes us feel somehow unworthy of giving to others, and therefore we don't give as much as we could.  As Morrie points out, guilt creates negative feelings about ourselves that don't serve any positive purpose at all, so how can we expect to contribute to the world in a positive way when we're spending so much of our energy focusing on past actions, reactions, thoughts or words?  Let them go, and live today on its own terms.

Most of us are more than willing to forgive other people when they do something that they see as wrong.  And when we don't forgive them, our relationships are never the same, for there's always something between us and them.  Unfortunately, many people teach us to be hard on ourselves, to be unforgiving and intolerant, and that's one of the ways that we develop a relationship with ourselves that's much less positive than it could and should be.

Let go.  Forgive.  If you do, only then will you be able to spread the positive side of yourself without hindrance.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What sorts of things do you find hard to forgive in yourself?

2.  Is it more important to be positive or to hold ourselves back with the negative feelings of guilt and lack of forgiveness?

3.  How might we go about practicing the art of forgiveness?

For further thought:

Often, we are harder on ourselves than others are.  If we cannot forgive ourselves, how can we forgive other people?  Everyone's lesson is to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, even those things we feel ashamed about, and learn to accept ourselves for who we are, knowing that we can always gently work on making improvements.  For me, the true experience of inner peace began only once I was able to forgive those around me, my parents, and myself.

Patrick Wanis

more thoughts and ideas on guilt



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