Remorse: A Process for Healing

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Although often confused with guilt and shame, remorse is actually a much higher calibrating "emotion." It's the 21st Century alternative to feeling bad about yourself, and making others around you feel bad too.

It not only feels better and helps you move forward in your life, but it is healing for the Earth... and as we ride the 2012 Transition, Mother Earth needs all the help we can give her!

This article explains how it works, and why you are worthy of forgiveness.

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Can You Forgive Yourself?

Remorse is a method to heal yourself, and others, after making a mistake.

After all, anything that brings a feeling of remorse is a mistake -- just a mistake. Did you know that's the origin of the word "sin"? "Sin" was an archery term; it means missing the mark. That leaves a lot more possibility for positive growth, doesn't it!

So you don't need to berate yourself for eternity. There is nothing to berate yourself for if you didn't know any better, or if you did the best you could.

And I believe we always do the best we can, with what we have in the moment.

We Always Do Our Best

We're not perfect. Sometimes we do things we're not proud of. But, in the moment, that was undoubtedly the best that we could do.

Maybe you gave in to your meaner impulses. If you could have held yourself to a higher ideal in that moment, you would have done so. What would you have to gain, by not?

Maybe you didn't know how to do better. You can only work with what you know.

God does not expect you to know what you do not yet know!

For whatever reason -- fatigue, stress, anxiety, confusion, distraction, etc -- maybe you didn't do the best you hoped for. Maybe it wasn't as good as you could have done another day.

But you obviously did the best you could in that moment.

Why would anyone do less than that?

God doesn't need you to burn in hell for it, not even the hell of your own harsh thoughts. She only wants you to learn from the process, and to use it to grow.

That's what remorse is all about.

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The Process Of Remorse

There are four parts to the process of remorse.

1. The Pain Signal

The first part is a pang in your Heart. There is an energy there, call it an emotion if you like, that signals you are not happy with your actions.

From here, many people get derailed into guilt, instead of continuing the process of remorse.

2. Analysis, Not Story

The second part is the most important, the core of remorse...

You accept that you made a mistake. And you make an unemotional, practical assessment of your actions.

When your actions and choices don't live up to your ideals or ethics...

  • you figure out how you could do better,

  • discover what was moving in you (probably subconsciously) that caused that action,

  • and -- here's the critical bit -- resolve to do better next time.

Remorse is calm and determined. Rather than destroying your self-respect, remorse enhances it. It provides you with the opportunity to grow, to live up to your ideals.

It recognises that within you there is a perfect being, capable of the best.

And that there is always another opportunity to try.

Contrast that with shame, which says that you are worthless and hopeless. There's just nowhere good to go, from there!

Remorse doesn't take the mistake personally. It sees an action as wrong, but not you as a person.

Remorse knows that people can't accurately, honestly be judged in terms of "wrong" and "bad."

3. Undoing The Error

The next step is always making amends. You must undo the error, to the best of your ability. And apologise, if it won't make things worse.

We must be clear -- this step has nothing to do with being forgiven by another person. Whether they forgive you or not is about them and their process, and is not about you.

To seek someone's forgiveness when they aren't ready to give it can be a further harm.

You fix the mistake if you can. That is the only purpose of this step.

4. Forgiving Yourself

Inherent in this process is self-forgiveness. You see a mistake, you acknowledge it, you figure out what went wrong, you fix it if you can, and you determine to not make that mistake again.

When you've done all that, forgiveness is a lot easier.

You can forgive yourself, because you know you aren't a bad person who intentionally did wrong... and because you are doing your best not to slip up that way in the future.

No one is perfect. No one is expected, by the Divine, not to make mistakes. On the contrary, that's often how we learn and grow.

That's all the Divine wants of you. Not perfection. But learning and growing from your slip-ups.

So you can accept that you did the best you were able to, at the time. And forgive yourself, for being human and humanly fallible.

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You Are Worthy Of Forgiveness

If you get stuck in guilt, look for the underlying shame. Shame is like Velcro to guilt. It tells you that you deserve to feel terrible guilt, that you are not worthy of forgiveness or compassion or kindness.

But shame LIES.

You are worthy of forgiveness, because you are not a flawed person. You are Divinity tasting life as a mortal individual -- nothing else.

It doesn't matter what your family or coworkers or boss thinks of you. It doesn't matter how you've been treated by others -- that's nothing to do with YOU, that's all about the (human) blindness of others.

You are infinitely worthy and loveable!

And when others can't see that it's only because they haven't realised that they are infinitely worthy and loveable. When people get tied down, in their minds, into one little frail animal body and one small human life, all kinds of such misconceptions arise!

But it's not the truth.

The truth is that you are eternal -- learning and growing and polishing yourself on challenge after challenge, life after life.

The soul that is truly you is infinitely worthy and Divine. The body and mind you think of as you are only a costume that put on for a while, and then point aside, to go home for dinner and a bath, a good rest, to get up and come play again. wicca-spirituality-winking_witch

So how do you as a mere mortal forgive yourself?

The same way you forgive anyone...

  • With compassion for your human frailty: you really are doing our best with what you have.

  • With perspective: understanding that this life is a playground and schoolroom, and not the life-or-death struggle it seems.

  • With determination to not make the same mistake again.

With Bright Blessings,

signature; click to write to erin

Next Article: Why Guilt Is More Fun

Guilt And Morality Articles:
Guilt, Shame, And Remorse -- Positive Possibilities for the Future

Remorse: A Process for Healing

Why Guilt Is More Fun

Wicca -- A Guilt-Free Morality

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