Love Renaissance: Releasing the Guilt and Shame That Bind Us
It’s time for a love renaissance! Can you feel it? Individually and collectively our hearts, souls, minds and bodies are calling for freedom. What is this ever resounding call? It’s the call to express love fully in all its forms, free from habitual thoughts and patterns of guilt and shame that thwart our loving of self and others fully. Let’s begin the process of creating a guilt and shame free zone within ourselves and our relationships.
Guilt and shame can be harmful to our self-image and relationships. Let’s explore the differences between these two. Guilt says, “I did something wrong” or “you made a mistake”. Shame says, “I am bad” or “you are a bad.” There is a clear distinction; guilt arises when an undesirable behavior takes place, while shame attacks the self-worth.
When shame is active it’s like shackles imprisoning us, hindering movement toward creating change in ourselves, relationships and lives. Self-talk about “being bad” kills passion and inspiration. Self-imposed guilt is often unfounded, as judgment of self is often created from past conditioning rather than the reality of the moment. Interestingly, guilt can sometimes cause us to realize we do not want to repeat a particular behavior, and thus be a catalyst for insight and change.
Most everyone received guilt and shaming messages as a child, whether it came from family, community or the media. Some were punished for being our natural childlike selves, our behaviors not “fitting in” with the needs of the adults around us, soon we took over and began to guilt and shame ourselves.
Operating from the internal reservoir of guilt and shame in relationship is poisonous. Love, intimacy and open sexual desire/expression in healthy relationships are born from innocence. Innocence is our natural state, we remember this when we heal the places within where guilt and shame have been fertilized and harvested for far too long.
Compassion and forgiveness are powerful keys in unlocking the shackles created by guilt and shame. Author, Jack Kornfield shares “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” So often we extend compassion and forgiveness outwardly, but in truth until we‘ve chosen to see ourselves through compassionate eyes and have forgiven our perceived transgressions, it is almost impossible for us to be in compassionate and forgiving states of being within relationship.
Many are hesitant to forgive themselves and others, feeling as though the act of forgiveness means making the circumstances acceptable. Forgiving someone in relationship does not excuse responsibility; it sets everyone free to love. Bernard Meltzer shares, “When you forgive, you in no way change the past, but you sure do change the future”. Forgiveness sets us free to live, to trust, to act and respond in new ways, rather than perpetuate fear and old resentments.
The natural outcome of compassion and forgiveness is an eradication of guilt and shame which allows a return to innocence. We begin to know our goodness and the goodness of others.
Here is a gentle invitation to be the artisan of a love renaissance. The shame/guilt free zone starts within. The love renaissance begins within. Here are a few simple exercises that can get the process going and flowing.
Begin with a life inventory and choose three things you feel guilt or shame about, allow your perception to shift be gentle and compassionate, forgive and feel the truth of your innocent heart. Then choose three things or people you have felt wronged by and soften your resentment and forgive. Soon you will be experiencing a renaissance of love in your life!
Copyright Harmony Grace Productions.