“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” Ann Landers
Have you ever noticed that all the talk on forgiveness is about forgiving other people? That accepting who they are and what they do to us is the pinnacle of personal growth? But what about forgiving ourselves? What about letting go when we’re in a situation that doesn’t work and then forgiving ourselves for moving on? We don’t do that. We stay. We try to make “it work” and you know how that goes — All you’re left with are regrets.
Here’s my problem: I’m in a meditation class. I’m not ready. I don’t practice. I don’t want to go. It just doesn’t feel like the right time. I want to quit but I’m feeling too guilty. I feel like a failure.
My boys tell me I shouldn’t quit (something I’ve told them for years). My friends tell me I’ve bit off more than I can chew given my current life circumstances. My feelings of failure and guilt are overwhelming. I’m stressed out about a meditation class!! And, where is that f***ing guilt coming from?
I’ve already spent the money – so how can it be that? There are a number of people in the class so one gone won’t affect anyone. Do I think I’ll let my kids down? (Ha! On what day this week didn’t I let them down?) 🙂 Where’s my “obligation” – I chose to take the class?
I need to ask myself – “What do you want? What’s your intuition say about this?” Then, when I get the answer, I need to respect it – respect me. This is what we (read “me”) don’t do in life. We don’t ask ourselves the critical questions. And, even if we do, we don’t listen to our own answers.
In a 2013 interview, Brené Brown explained that we can not only overcome feelings of guilt and shame, we can use them as a catalyst for compassion — for yourself and others. “Shame depends on me buying into the belief that I’m alone,” she said.
When you’re questioning an action (or inaction), remind yourself that you’re enough, you’re not damaged or broken, no matter where you are or what decision you make about your life. We need to trust our inner voice.
I have no answers here nor do I know what direction I’m going to go on this class. But, I know this: It’s time to stop wasting our time on self-created guilt. It’s time to listen and respect our gut. You know what you should do, can do, and need to do. So, listen to that voice (it’s yours!), take action. Then forgive yourself and don’t look back.
Have a great rest of your weekend!