Why I am not able to come out of my past bitter memories? I have hurt someone very badly in my past. I am carrying that guilt.
Asaying that, everyone makes mistakes, there is – probably – no saint who hasn’t sinned in their past and no sinners who can’t become saints.
Speaking from a will-perspective, all emotions either hinder or enable our actions or efforts while strong negative emotions can act as bottlenecks and doesn’t allow us to reach our highest potential of whatever we can truly give or bring to this world.
The core-negative emotions in way are fear-grief-shame, although fear is one of the primary emotions that brings out other emotions indirectly like anger, anxiety, worry as outer emotions. Shame and guilt are also connected with fear in a way.
Once we lose fear, many of these emotions have no place within us and this makes it more important that we build our courage.
We also need to also bring out other qualities like acceptance, forgiveness and kindness, coincidentally we need courage to these as well, like we need courage to accept, to forgive, to be kind to ourselves and to others.
Fear, shame, guilt can show up in different ways, like losing someone, losing our status professionally, socially or economically, fear or shame of being made fun, embarrassed, mocked, looking like a fool, fear of uncertainty, fear or shame of being caught in an unethical act, fear of an old mistake re-surfacing and so on.
There is possibility that you could be going through a phase of fear-shame-guilt as a combination of emotions with regard to your specific incident.
Some action points:
- Becoming mindful (you already seem to, any case do reflect in silence as a detached being from the incident)
- Accept the truth (true reality of whatever happened without judgements, opinions or explaining yourself).
- Forgive yourself – Be kind to yourself, avoid labelling this incident with any term. Every decision or choice is probably right at that point in time and space. Only with hindsight can we show more intelligence and sometimes arrogance.
- Ask for forgiveness – Apologise sincerely and genuinely to the right person with a statement that you would not be doing it again. You seem to have done this already. The person may or may not forgive or forget you, that’s their journey.
- Journal – Write down this incident, the circumstances that made you do somethings which you later regretted, the decisions you took, the feelings you went through and so on.
Next write down how you came out of it, how you forgave yourself, your kindness to yourself, what you did that made you come out it. Write like its already happened. You may need some guidance on this, anyways will share over a call.
- Practice Affirmation to remove the past impressions of your behaviour and to help you come out it sooner rather than later. Time may eventually do it, why wait when there is a great practice like affirmations.
- Redemption – By Action – act in a way you can clear this karmic debit by a counter action to set things right for this person or doing things for other people to clear this debt.
- Being Listened – If you can find someone with whom you can share this incident as a human to human interaction, without being judged, commented, advised and such, like the listening task then you will find the sting leaving you and the healing process would have begun and in the following months or a years you will feel healed except for that scar which too may eventually fade. This act will also build your courage.
- Carrying the Cross – The fact that even after so many years, you haven’t forgotten it or let go of it completely and it still hangs over you.
You must use affirmation words to let go off your past impressions of yourself and phrase them to show more kindness towards you and forgiving of your mistakes.
You may not be able to easily let go of your past incident (scar) acceptance, it has already happened, but you can let go of those behaviours, emotions, habits, actions and memories or impressions.
It’s an old incident, yet has a hold, the best way is to say the below affirmation every day for next 6 months without skipping a day along with some visualisation (will share over a call). For now, do start saying the affirmation.
I’m now very kind to myself and easily forgive, learn and let go of my mistakes with kindness.
Mistake by its very nature is in the past, no need to make it obvious by recalling the word ‘past’. I have reinforced kindness twice deliberately being an old baggage that you seem to carry.
It’s difficult to say, when you will clear your karmic debt or how much you need to do to clear it but do it in such a way that the line is cleared by a mile and leaving no doubt in your inner mind, your thought-to-action signals can be good guiding inner signals if nurtured well.
Example, if a person lent you Rs 100/- and you cleared it after a day or month by paying back Rs 100/- you have cleared your financial debt, you may not have cleared the karmic debt.
Similarly, if someone falls down, you give a helping hand, a debt is created toward you without your choice or consent. A thank you may clear part of it, yet it still rides on this person and he/she must clear it somewhere else, sometimes with interest and sometimes, another person may clear this debt towards you as a moving cycle of debt.
This web is beyond human scale of understanding or simple accounting.
Every action (body, feeling, thinking) creates a karmic debt towards you or away from you. We are in this constant state of flux between pluses and minuses every day.
Do whatever you must do with good intent even if it sometimes turns out bad in the near term. Your good intent and actions done will clear this karmic debt and also avoid worrying and analysing when it will be cleared and so on, no one can really tell.
If you have cleared it then good, continue doing the good things to accumulate more positive forces and it may come in handy in the future to clear it when you need to pay someone else.
Don’t mull, don’t build expectations on the results of your actions, do your work.
Another way to look at your past incidents would be, as an actor in this spiritual drama, where the grand-director makes us go through these incidents which are beyond our control and you do your part like in any drama/theatre, without getting worked up on your role, the incident or why this is happening to you, well that’s the role given by the script writer or the director.
Look at your life’s incident as an artist/actor with detachment but playing your role to the best of your abilities not short changing the audience 😊
The grand-director lets you be the local-director of your daily life, make those little decisions on what you want to eat today, whether you exercise or not, chose what kind of work you do, what values you want to keep, what feelings you want to keep (courage, joy, contentment) or discard (wallow in self-pity, grief, shame, fear, guilt, excuses), what thoughts you want keep or discard, how to manage your will and execute your inner desires, what goals you want to pursue, whether you enjoy the little joys of daily living or not and so on while still controlling the big picture.
Make use of this local-director’s role for your own life, maybe your children’s too if they are young (i.e. unless they are adolescents and young adults then they become assistant directors 😊 for their own life) meanwhile you can control and rescript, after all you are the director, rescript the remaining part of your life story and take charge of your life.
Whenever the grand-director changes the main script, you rescript (adapt) your story as well to go along as good sub-plot.
Don’t get stuck or attached to your script. Do it as a job you must do after getting through the audition and getting this role to live life.
The role even if a side-role can be more memorably lived than the lead role if done well.
No one remembers who the king/queen was or even the kingdoms name when Buddha was around or Meera Bai or Kabir. Eventually we will all turn to dust.