Dear Lucy: I have been trying for the longest time to let go of some things that I did in the past. I am ashamed of them and just can't stop thinking about how stupid I was. I feel like I am always walking in the dark because I am so ashamed. Please help me with this. There must be a bigger, better answer than what I've been doing.
– In the dark
Dear in the Dark: I don't know what you've been doing but I guess it's not working, huh? I guess I could talk about depression, shame, guilt and unforgiveness. But that covers a lot of territory and you can read about them in my book, "Be Not Anxious."
Guilt never shows up without shame. We feel stupid and ashamed that we were stupid and then we feel guilty for having been so stupid. This goes on long enough and we become the victim of our own thinking. Guilt is a way of blaming ourselves. It lets us criticize, judge and condemn ourselves until there just seems to be no way out. Being a victim just takes away all of the joy of living. And that's pretty dark!
Sometimes we become victims living in the dark by blaming others. That's when anything that goes wrong in our lives is always someone else's fault and never our own. Whatever we cannot get, have or become, we blame someone or something outside ourselves. With blame we have so many people and events to not forgive. With guilt we can't forgive ourselves. Either way we end up wandering around in the darkness of misery and victim hood.
The space in this article doesn't leave room to talk through forgiveness. And I do know that letting go of guilt and blame can be long hard work. So, why don't we bypass all of that and just decide to start all over. Imagine how great life could be if you could just turn the light on in the room and start fresh?
Have you ever noticed how one little light bulb just dissolves all the darkness in the room? It seems magical. I think that we can do the same things in the dark rooms of the mind.
How? All it takes is deciding to discipline your thoughts in such a way that no matter what you see, hear or feel, you will choose a positive thought over a negative one. Just one positive thought that you consciously hold onto can be like the lighted candle in the dark places in your life.
Let go of the negative ideas and expectations of gloom and doom and soon all of the negative people and events will disappear from your life. Let go of the guilt, shame, blame and unforgiveness without really trying. Simply turn the lights on with positive, loving thoughts that don't blame you or anyone else.
Make a commitment to do this, one thought at a time and notice how even your body will begin to relax with each positive thought. Jesus said that He was the Light of the world. We read that Jesus was one of the most positive beings to ever live on this earth. He always lived in the Light. We can too.
Flip the switch!
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or from her website.)