This article is by Bill Ferguson and published by Smart Recovery
When you have guilt, you reinforce the feelings of being not okay. You lose your confidence and self-respect. You feel undeserving and you hold yourself back.
The key to releasing guilt is to recognize that we all go through life doing the very best we can with the extremely limited skills and awareness that we have at the time.
Unfortunately, the awareness that we have is seldom enough. As a result we make mistakes. Sometimes we make big ones.
Making mistakes is part of the human process. This is how we learn. Every time you make a mistake you learn a little more about life. You then become wiser and more aware.
Five years from now you will be much wiser than you are today, but the wisdom you will have five years from now doesn’t do you any good today. This is true because today, you don’t have it.
Likewise the wisdom that you have today didn’t do you any good back when you made your mistake. This is true because back then, you didn’t know what you know today. You only knew what you knew.
To see this in your life, go back in time to the moment you made your mistake. Notice that at the time, you had a very particular state of mind and a very particular way of seeing life. Notice that your actions were totally consistent with where you were at the moment.
If you knew then what you know today, you could have acted very differently, but you didn’t. Even if you thought you knew better, you didn’t know the consequences like you do today.
So here is the big question: Are you willing to forgive yourself for not knowing? Are you willing to forgive yourself for not being wiser and more aware? You might as well. If you look, you did the very best you could with where you were at the time.
Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not being wiser and more aware. Forgive yourself for acting consistent with your limited awareness and forgive yourself for the damage that you caused as a result of your not knowing.
Allow yourself to be human.
Resentment and Blame
When you have resentment, a major part of you closes down. You become bitter and less able to express your love. You lose your aliveness and your joy for life. You put up walls of protection and you make your life more difficult.
Letting go of resentment is not for the benefit of the other person. Letting go of resentment is for you.
When you resent someone, you are saying very forcefully, that the other person is the problem, the cause and the fault. Not you. You forcefully blame the other person so you don’t have to look at yourself.
If you looked at yourself, you would have to experience all the hurt from what happened. You would have to feel all the hurt of being not good enough, not worth loving or some other form of not okay. To avoid this hurt, you resent.
The first step in releasing resentment is to be willing to feel this hurt. Look under the resentment and find the hurt. Find the feelings of being not good enough or not worth loving that you are avoiding. Then be willing to experience them. Cry if you can. Once you are willing to feel this hurt, you no longer need the resentment.
The next step is to notice that the person you resent has a very particular state of mind and a very particular way of seeing life. Notice that this person has a very limited awareness and acts in ways totally consistent with his or her limited skills and ability.
Now notice that if this person was wiser and more aware, then he or she would be able to act very differently, but the person isn’t wiser and more aware. This person only has the limited awareness that he or she has.
Notice that this person is doing the very best he or she can with his or her very limited ability. Notice how much this person suffers as a result of his or her limited equipment.