A religion, a belief system or a way of life will not necessarily suit all those born into it.
For some it will work. For others it will be damaging. And you’ll feel worse than a “fish out of water” – you’ll feel, or be made to feel, guilty about it. From personal experience I can only write about my own past and the healing I was able to do with the help of the whole of Yoga.
The lonely legacy of Catholic guilt is what I call the left-over loneliness that comes from low self-esteem, the pain and hurt from the damage of the catholic way (that’s the family way, schooling community etc) and also the confusion and conflict from the twistings in the teaching – especially about our origins as humans. It leaves you lost as to how the world works – and to how people really behave and why.
But nothing stays the same forever, and everything is constantly changing. There’s compensation in everything. In every ‘wrong’ there is the potential for ‘right’, if you look for it. And Yoga gave me the way to find the ‘right’ in my life when I was healing from Catholic guilt. Many people have shared with me that my writing of the experience of guilt and the healing from it has helped enormously: Asian women and men also associate with the family and community stuff, along with Presbyterians and Jehovah’s Witnesses. The need for healing seems to be Universal.
Healing with Yoga is profound, deep and lasting. It helps, in my experience, with a new stronger outlook, with your identity, values and lifestyle changes. Here are 3 ways I found to heal guilt with Yoga:
Awareness and acceptance of what has happened is the first step. For that you usually need quiet downtime. Releasing the past and letting go takes time and it also takes a certain state of mind . Relaxation in Yoga is one of the most profound ways of reaching a state of deep contemplation for the letting go to happen.
Try this for free: Relaxing from Seeds of Yoga Meditation Part 2 [ free downloads audio guided meditations link below].
Flushing Out The Sadness
Letting the feelings of sadness or loneliness come up, the emotions to surface and flow and allowing them to wash through are all deeply therapeutic techniques of Yoga. Stillness and breath flow really help. Simply learning to slow down enough to be still and silent is a powerful thing to give yourself. Allowing your emotions to do the work for you, allowing the breath to breathe you is an amazing gift to yourself and it’s a gift that you control.
Try this for free: Breathing from Seeds of Yoga Meditation Part 1 [free downloads audio guided meditations link below].
Wipe The Slate Clean
Contemplation is one of the steps on the path to meditation – it allows the mind to settle down into the state of silence necessary for meditation – it allows your thoughts to come up into awareness for your mind, body and emotional system to heal, for you to make sense of your experiences and put them into some place on your soul’s path. Then you can wipe the slate clean and face the future. Contemplation in Yoga is an ancient practice of learning from the teacher’s truths. You may have been told forgiveness is the way to healing? Well, this is how you start . . .
Try this for free: Forgiving from Seeds of Yoga Meditation Part 2 [free downloads audio guided meditations link below].
Remember what I said about origins? Well, growing what I understood about the origins of Yoga, some of the fascinating stories about the Yogis, gave me a frame in my head to think about how life can be better and vital. It’s an amazingly powerful legacy – better than guilt any day.