Friday, April 15, 2011
How to be Who You Are, Against All Odds, Pt 4 - Accepting Yourself
Photo: What we keep hidden
This series is part of an extensive essay I wrote to explain theraputic methods I have myself used and have taught to my friends. I think a lot of people out there have no idea what they really want or who they really are, because we have all been trained so long to follow the herd and trends and authority. Those walls need to be broken back down so that your true self can grow and flourish, and you can find true happiness from within yourself.
Most people do not realize how much we all have in common with each other. This lack of understanding between humans leads to fear of rejection and a lot of hiding in the corner. The fact is, other people are afraid of things, have desires they feel aren't met, have places they want to go and dreams that are unfulfilled. They have self esteem issues too, self image issues, and most people feel like there is at least one person whose expectations they haven't lived up to and whose opinion they value. Everyone has fallen, everyone has sinned, everyone has done something bad and has a guilty secret they'd prefer that no one knows. We've all screwed up, hurt other peoples feelings (even when we didn't mean to) and done things that we regret. There are a lot of people you probably think are great who have done something they think is absolutely horrible to someone else. NO ONE escapes from this and the people who claim they have absolutely no regrets and aren't ashamed of anything they've ever done are lying. Everyone is fallible and everyone has doubts about something.
First things first - allow yourself to understand and accept the things you have done that make you feel like a bad person. Allow them to come to the surface, do not hide from them. Yes, it may make you feel crappy but the next step should help - address each one (in a journal will help as well) and examine it. Determine your base motives for what you did (a lesson comes later as to how to do this) and accept responsibility. Say or write to yourself - yes I did this, it was not an ok action to take but I did so, it was my action and I am responsible for it. I regret that it happened but I cannot change that it happened as the past is gone. I absolve myself from further guilt stemming from this action, carrying the guilt harms no one other than myself.
Once you have sat down and recognized an action/fault, accepted responsibility and knowledge of your wrongdoing, and then FORGIVEN yourself for it, you can let it go. There is no need for this to hang in the back of your mind any longer. You've forgiven yourself, which is almost as good as erasing the past. There is one more thing you can do, and that is to confess this secret to someone. it does not have to be in person, it can be online, a note to dear abbey, even an email to me. I can assure you that emails I receive will be read, possibly responded to in a kind manner, and then will be deleted and what has been said will never be shared or thought about further. It is not my business to judge you, I only wish to provide a gentle shoulder to help you with your burdens.
It will take time, but if you continually work through the guilt and things that plague you, eventually it will be mostly gone and you'll be much freer than you have ever felt. This will give you a clean slate, and instead of going into new relationships, friendships, occupations, etc with a guilty conscience you can go in as a free being who has nothing to hide because you understand that the past is gone, it cannot be changed, and who you WERE is not who you ARE.
Next Post: Permission, Naysayers, Fear