How to Release Shame and Guilt
I have shame wounds that I poke and prod periodically. Memories of others telling me that the wrongs I’d committed were a reflection of my character. Memories of myself, repeating these same venomous lies.
Guilt, though not necessarily a high vibrational emotion, is understandable. We all make mistakes. All of us. This is human nature and necessary for our collective growth. Shame, however, is what festers when guilt causes us to reflect upon our person. To ask questions like “Am I a good person?” “Am I deserving of good things? Abundance?”
See how low shame and guilt fall on the scale? THE LOWEST.
Shame is unacceptable and has no place inside of us. Dealing with shame is…difficult. Soul-eating, if I may add. When shame rears her ugly head we must acknowledge this wound and work daily to free ourselves from it. The question is, how? How do we free ourselves from shame?
I am no psychologist or wizard. I am just a person having a human experience, like you, reader. Yet, I’ve found a few coping mechanisms that at least keep me on this Earth with relatively sound mind and peace. Here they are…
How to Release Shame and Guilt:
(1) Affirmations — Your words create your reality, reshape your mindset, and guide your healing. Here are a few affirmations for releasing shame/guilt that you can repeat when you wake and/or before bed:
- Today I release the heavy burden of shame and guilt.
- I am capable of moving beyond my mistakes.
- I release the past so I can step into the future with new learnings.
- I am able to heal from the hurt and pain of what I have caused.
- I feel the emotions of the past and am at peace with them.
(2) Journaling — Journaling helps us untangle the knots and complexities of shame and guilt. Putting your thoughts on paper can help you better understand your feelings and thus, move through them. Here are a few prompts:
- Do you feel guilty for actual wrongdoing or for something outside your control? Would you categorize your guilt as healthy or excessive, and why?
- What can you learn from this situation?
- What’s holding you back from moving on?
(3) Meditation — Meditation helps us find peace in the midst of our thoughts and emotions. Additionally, meditation can help us gain insight from our Higher Selves (as well as the Beyond depending on your belief system) that can guide us through our shame wounds. Consider meditating for even just 5 minutes a day and notice the clarity you gain.
(4) Grounding in Nature — Recently, I’ve found that nature is a source of healing for me. Being under sunlight, sitting in grass, and/or near a body of water helps me find silence. Peace. Clarity. Sometimes it feels as though the outside is giving me a hug — reassuring me that all will be well. Here are a few of my favorite ways to immerse myself in nature:
- Going for a hike
- Visiting a lake, waterfall, or beach
- Going for a walk around my community
- Putting my feet in grass in my backyard
Lastly, I always suggest that you GO TO THERAPY if you can. This is so important and an area that I’m even trying to be more consistent in.
Above all, remember that shame (nor guilt) is not an emotion we can allow to fester. It is self-destructive. We must remember that we are human and perfectly imperfect. Love is at the core of our experience and thus, WE MUST choose to love ourselves through it all.
Good luck to you and happy living.