The Difference Between Guilt & Shame
I’ve noticed people who would work tremendously hard at finding happiness; they’d be doing all the affirmations, methods, & mindfulness techniques but still faced with this feeling as though maybe they were not meant to be happy.
Feeling as though maybe they didn’t deserve happiness.
I’ve watched shame stunt people’s growth process time and time again. If you hold shame from passed experiences and feel it’s holding you back from contentment, keep reading.
Let’s look a little closer at feeling guilt.
To feel guilt means we've have taken responsibility for our actions and know that we will make better choices in the future.
To feel shame is to take the blame for something and punish ourselves repeatedly, essentially deeming your actions so wrong that we can’t be forgiven.
It is when we allow ourselves to sit in our heads with the thought of our mistakes, festering over how wrong we feel, that we create a very limiting belief. This belief is that we don’t deserve to feel the ease of mind that comes with forgiveness.
So how can we avoid falling into a pit of shame? When we catch ourselves reflecting back over the mistakes we may have made, we should acknowledge the wrong doing but instead of festering in how poorly it feels to have made that mistake- we’re going to halt & forgive ourselves.
Say aloud or in your mind an affirmation of forgiveness from within. Something along the lines of,
“I recognize my wrong doings but I am forgiven. I will do better in the future.”
Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a method for inner forgiveness. A chance to truly apologize to ourselves. So it’s important that we truly believe in the words we are saying; if the apology doesn’t feel sincere, we can’t truly accept it. Therefore, still carrying a piece of emotion that feels guilty or shameful.
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