Forgive Yourself

Lately, I have had quite a few people call or email with concerns about guilt. And it’s not the type of guilt like when someone does something seriously wrong, or a crime, or causing pain. It is guilt over emotional things such as thoughts they had, or harsh feelings they had toward someone who wronged them, or feeling like failures for things that happened that were not even within their control. I think with so many people shut in right now, people are starting to think and get stuck sitting in their thoughts when they otherwise could have ways to distract from this and not dwell on it. Part of the problem also is, a lot of people are also dealing with seeing more people on social media sharing all sorts of opinions and quotes and memes about “let it go” and “everyone get along”, or “forgive your enemies for your own sake”. And though it is good to let go of past wrongs done to you, forgiveness means to not let it control you anymore. It does not mean you aren’t allowed to feel the anger or pain over it. And it does not mean you have to let that person back into your life. It simply means that you don’t let it weigh you down and control you anymore. And even when we do forgive others, people often believe that they are wrong to feel pain and anger over the past, or wrong to cut ties with people. And that just is not true.

Another form of guilt I’ve had people call about is various thoughts about their religious paths and views on god, or doubts in those areas. This is also very common. And especially in times like we’re experiencing now with worldwide suffering and trauma. So, as much as we may forgive others, I find people not realizing they can and should forgive themselves as well. And often, there are things that aren’t even really wrong, but they are a burden to us because we’ve been told to believe they are wrong or we feel responsible for it, whether we are or not. And this sometimes leads people to believe their gods are upset with them, or mad at them, or leaving them. I have those moments too. I believe on some level, we all do at times. But when we do this, we need to nip it in the bud as soon as we can.

The thing people don’t realize about these teachings, is that they are relatively new. Historically speaking, very few religious and spiritual paths actually taught this. We have discussed many times, the balance of light and dark. The fact that the “all love and light and be positive to everybody no matter what they do” attitude, is toxic and false. For Lokeans, we are often the ones used TO call people out on their shit. Because, like our patron, we have the goat-pulled balls to do it. Loki was bound because he walked into that feast and told every one of them the stuff they did wrong behind each other’s backs. He called them out on it, and he got bound for it. So there is nothing wrong with removing toxic people from our lives. Because if we do not cut toxic ties, those ties will bind us and keep us from moving and growing the way we need to.  

Now, for the topic of guilt over spiritual mishaps. Even in the Christian Bible, the threat of going to hell fire could be altered if the person simply did whatever prayer, or offering, or work needed to make up for it. The key has always been as long as you are alive, you have a chance to rectify and be saved. Now on the Pagan side of things, this was not even that far of an issue. You had to royally fuck up bad in order to be THAT unforgiven. Well, we humans did anyway. And in modern times, I believe we have even less to worry about. We have more proof now, than we have in a long time, that bad people can (and do) go unchecked and unpunished. If the gods were going to get mad at humans and punish them and turn on them, don’t you think they might start with the ones that are hating and killing people in their names? There are people discriminating against (and attacking) the LGBTQ community, and pushing anti-gay & anti-trans laws and action in the name of their collective gods. There are white supremacists and nazis running around claiming that what they do is Odin’s work. There are people doing mean, cruel, hateful things in the name of Loki and chaos. And even though I fully believe those Gods no longer stand by them because of that, they are still clearly going unpunished. So why on Earth, would you think that they would turn on you for missing an offering, or having a fleeting bad thought about someone who hurt you, or having a moment of doubt in hard times? If doing these things makes you feel the gods are upset or have left you, it is very often your own guilt feelings of you being mad at you, or belief in previous teachings. Don’t feed that idea. Find ways, to let go of that guilt. If you feel you need to rectify or make amends, do so. But don’t destroy your faith in the process. Know that the gods love you, say you’re sorry, and get back to doing what you do.

** For those who wish, here is a meditation to help relieve undue guilt**

Before beginning, sit quietly for a moment. Ground and center. Now, make a list (either on paper or mentally), of the things you feel some sort of guilt over. Don’t dwell on it or on why you feel that way. Just acknowledge and list it. Try not to do more than 5 things per session. Now, imagine yourself in a beautiful field or forest or other place in nature that makes you feel relaxed. Sit and feel the comfort. Feel the breeze and sun on your skin. Make it real and relaxing. Now, visualize yourself getting up to explore your surroundings. Take in the sights and comfort until you come to a body of water. You look into the water, and see your reflection. Here, you recall your list. You see these things in your reflection. And one by one, name each one of those things. As you name it, say “the guilt from this is gone”, then see yourself cup the water into your hand and wash your face with it. Do this for each “guilt” and imagine your reflection clearing a little more with each one. Then, when you’ve gone through your list. Declare yourself clean of guilt. “I wash away the pain of guilt. If there are amends to make, I will. But I am not guilty anymore”. Then wash your face again and see your reflection clear and whole and sparkling. Let yourself relax a moment and feel again the comfort and light around you. Then, when you are ready, visualize getting up and walking back to your starting point. Once you are there, get yourself comfortable, and slowly bring your mind back to the physical world where you are sitting here and now. Once you are back to yourself, reground, and center. Before making those amends, make sure it is one that will not cause more pain to do it. If it is, or if you aren’t sure, or have no way to reach others involved safely, make your amends to simply be trying hard not to do it again. But whatever you choose, let go of the guilt. Do this mediation as many times as needed. But again, try to wait at least a week between due to the emotional nature of the meditation. . That’s all I have to say for now. Thank you following, and feel free to share. Blessings to you all.

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