Letting Go of Guilt by Resolving to Do Better in Future
Many struggle with feelings of guilt. Some even berate themselves, self-criticize, and continue to beat themselves down until they loose all self esteem and start hating themselves due to unskilfull, harmful actions they have done.
But that serves no benefit to anyone: It doesnt help the person we may have harmed, it's bad for ourselves, and of no use to anyone at all.
Ajahn Dhammasiha explains what the Buddha advised us to do if we have committed harm:
- We have to recognize if we have acted unskilfully, fully understand and honestly acknowlege it (suppression/denial doesn't work!)
- If possible, we try to fix any damage and ask for forgiveness
- We firmly resolve to do better in future
- We completely forgive ourselves and let go
- We maintain our resolution and restrain ourselves not to do the unskilful action ever again
Guilt is all about the past. Instead of wallowing in guilt, we focus all our energy on doing better in the future. That's what's benefical for both ourselves and all other beings!