I have several friends who live in a lot of unnecessary pain because they still have serious resentment, anger, rage or even hate towards their ex-spouse. Some of them still blame their ex for things that happened during their divorce, and things that continue to affect them and their kids today as a result of the divorce. Some feel guilty because of their actions, i.e. leaving the marriage because they weren’t happy, rather than toughing it out and staying for the sake of the children. Some of us feel guilty because we think about how much we need a break from our kids because being single parent can be tough, but a thought like that can bring on the guilt, for women in particular. Some of them even feel shame for their behavior such as cheating or not being emotionally available for their spouse and kids when they had the opportunity. In any case, all of these emotions suck the life out of them on a daily basis.
For these folks that I’m referring to and in most cases, it’s best to forgive. You may ask “How can I forgive such a horrible…?” Forgiveness is not about letting the other person off the hook. Their deeds are their business to deal with when they see fit. Nobody gets to escape their own karma. We have absolutely no control over their actions, but we do have control over ours. So lets stay in our business for a moment. You can hate them again in a minute. In the meantime, consider this…forgiveness is for you and your well-being, NOT theirs.
Close your eyes and go inside to the feeling that you are having towards the other person. Is it pain, anger, tightness in the chest, queasiness in the stomach? Do you think that they can feel that feeling? NO they can’t, only you can.
You are burning a hole in your stomach over a feeling you have for another person. Nobody is worth sacrificing our health over. If you forgive, you get the benefit of removing that gunk from your system, and as a result you stand a chance to be a healthier person as well.. With that junk inside of you, you get ulcers and other dis-eases. I’m no doctor, but I know from personal experience that I feel far better when I forgive others than I do when I stay angry at them. It’s common sense. So do it for you!
Forgive them as they are human just like you. Human’s make mistakes, just like you. They did the best they could with the information that they had at the time, just like you. That’s all we can ever do is our best. We learn all the time and have the opportunity to better the next time, but for now we know what we know and not a drop more.
Sometimes we are dealing with a truly nasty person, I realize that. Being nasty is all they know. They don’t know how to be a nicer, happier, consciences person today, but maybe they will tomorrow, and maybe not – their business. They are doing THEIR best, not yours. We always want people to live up to our standards, and we let our ego get in the way by thinking things like “I would never do something like that.” The reality is, they would and that is their business, stay in yours.
What’s the big deal about GUILT?
Guilt is simply a wasted emotion that drains your energy. If you feel guilty about something, what does that accomplish? NOTHING! You feel bad inside and nobody else even knows, typically, and what if they do, there’s still no point? Nobody wins when somebody feels guilty. I can’t think of one good reason to feel guilty, it doesn’t change a thing.
There is a second part to this equation. When somebody does something wrong they deposit negative energy into the universe. At this point, it is in everybody, including the universes, best interest to move forward and find a way to make things right. This is the optimal use of your energy. The worst thing you can do is to feel guilty, creating even more negativity for our universe. You are creating double the negative energy, and let’s face it folks, we need all the positive energy we can get right now!
So just to be clear, if you do something wrong, use your energy to fix it, not to drown in pain and sorrow feeling guilty.
What about shame?
Shame is the same idea. If you do something that you consider to be wrong or negative, feeling shame will not help you, it will only drag you down. Once you get that huge rock of shame on top of you, theoretically, it is much harder to find the energy to make things right. You are weighed down by that heavy energy that you needlessly placed there all by yourself. At this point, you will likely blame somebody else for the way you feel, but it’s always all about us, we create it all, so don’t even go there.
Shame too is a double negative. If we do something we aren’t proud of we can either use our energy to make things better for the people that we hurt, or we can go down the long dark road creating more negativity. It’s your choice.
Blame is the number one sin, against ourselves!
Somebody does us wrong and we are fighting mad. We blame them for the way things are based on their actions. I get it, they did something wrong, of course we blame them. It’s their fault, right? Maybe, and maybe not. Does it matter? Once it’s done, it’s done so what is the point of blame. Blame is an excuse for holding onto anger towards another person. As long as I’m blaming you I get to stay justified for being mad at you, even if you did it 2 years ago.
I know what you’re saying “But it is their fault that they cheated, that we lost our house, that the kids don’t speak to me anymore, that we had to get divorced and things are hard now.” I know, it’s their fault. So what? What the heck does that even accomplish to know, nothing! So now what are you going to do with that information? We have 2 choices, either forgive them and let it go knowing that it is their business and their karma, or we can hold onto it and let it fester inside of us for 50 years. Hmmmm….fester or freedom, good health or disease-hard decision.
The other side of this coin is that when we blame others it’s a great way to avoid looking at ourselves and our own contribution. There is a saying “if you spot it, you got it.” This means that if I am angry at you because you are greedy or thoughtless for example, then I need to look inside at my actions to see where I can find greed or thoughtlessness within myself. It may sound crazy, but it is there 100% of the time. Try it! Sometimes it is in an area unrelated to the current issue but it’s there somewhere in your life, and you haven’t taken the time to seek it out to make it better, so it still bugs you when you see it in others. That person has come to show you what you still have to work on. They are your mirror. What a great gift! If we want to improve ourselves and we are sincere about it, all we have to do is look at the behavior of others that drives us crazy. Once we spot it, we get to look inside and get real with ourselves. It’s there, I promise! Don’t give up or take the easy way out. Keep looking. You’ll notice once you find it, you no longer feel the blame towards that person or the stress associated with it.
It’s your choice. You can either live with huge weights on your shoulders which we will call guilt, shame and blame or you can be free by forgiving and some old fashioned soul searching. Do it for you, you deserve it!