How Mindfulness Meditation Can Help Us Forgive Ourselves
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. Some of us have even done things we’re downright ashamed of. The feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse can be major obstacles to our spiritual development. The good news is that through the practice of mindfulness meditation, we can learn to forgive ourselves and to let go of the painful emotions associated with the memories of our unwholesome acts.
When I was a young man, I was so socially inept that I apologized in advance for any insensitive remark that I might make. In time, I realized that it was safer for me to just not talk and avoid the embarrassment. The problem with this approach was that I alienated myself from people, and as a result, I grew weak spiritually.
As you know, forgiving ourselves is not easy. Have you ever tried just telling yourself to forgive yourself for the things you’ve done? It doesn’t work too well, does it? That’s because forgiving ourselves takes a great deal of spiritual strength.
In my experience on the path to spiritual development, I’ve seen a direct correlation between how strong I am spiritually and how much I can forgive myself for my unwholesome behavior. That is because with a higher self-esteem, I can accept the fact that I am human, and therefore, fallible.
I am also now more mindful of my actions. I am much more aware of my thoughts and actions, and how they can bring either harmony or discord. I have found that by being kind and loving I bring greater harmony in my life, and in the lives of those around me.
Of course, most of this is the result of my meditation practice. Mindfulness meditation has enabled me to be at peace with myself, and with the people in my life, both past and present. I finally have the strength and courage to forgive myself. I can also forgive those who have harmed me.
I realize that some of us may have experienced more traumatic events that require professional help to overcome. Though meditation alone may not be enough, we still need the spiritual strength we get from mindfulness meditation to heal these wounds and be free of them.
It is a wonderful feeling to finally be free of all the guilt, shame and remorse from my past. And helping other people find the same freedom truly enriches my life and gives me the spiritual nourishment that keeps me growing.
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