How to Overcome Shame and Guilt and Love Yourself Instead

Shame and guilt often come up around relationships, especially after a breakup. Because these feelings are so common - so damaging to our lives and our communities - I decided to write an entire blog post on overcoming guilt and shame.

Guilt and shame exist at low vibrational frequencies. These emotions have a horrific effect on our lives.

The effects of guilt and shame include:

  • Lower energy

  • Lower power

  • Poorer life circumstances

  • Poorer relationships

  • Less abundance and success

  • Less love and happiness

  • Poorer physical and emotional health

Because of the low energy of these emotions, people whose consciousness resides in this state drain us on all levels. We tend to avoid people like this. They often find themselves surrounded by people on the same level (e.g., in jail). Perhaps worst of all, when your consciousness lies at the level of shame and guilt, you don’t even want to be around yourself - much less those like you.

Here's the good news about shame and guilt:

But the good news is these feelings can be easily let go of or released. They are like a tiny smudge on the vast, innocent ocean of perfection and love that is your true nature. As you let go of negative feelings, you will feel more positive feelings - more of what you truly are. You will feel more courageous and loving. You will notice increasing effectiveness, success in life, and a more effortless abundance of everything you are seeking.

As you let go, people will naturally want to be around you. Our state of consciousness emanates from us like a field. When people come into contact with each other, they feel each other’s consciousness - at least on a subconscious level. You may not be aware of this, but it's true if you think about it.

Why some people have "bad vibes" and "good vibes"

How often have you come into contact with someone and thought to yourself: “he had a bad vibe” or “she had a good vibe”? You can detect someone’s “vibe” because you can perceive their field of consciousness.

Those who occupy higher, more positive levels of consciousness attract others. People want to be around them because their positive frequency makes those around them feel good. This explains why people like Gandhi attract huge crowds of people. They have large, positive energy fields and it feels amazing to be in their presence.

The same is possible for you. As you let go of negative feelings like guilt and shame, you will raise your vibrational frequency and your life will begin to improve. At first, these feelings will keep coming up. But the more you let go of these feelings, the more you will have energy and courage to handle them. Why? Because in letting go, you have taken back your power and self-adequacy.

Shame and guilt rarely manifest as pure states in an individual.

In the next section, I’m going to describe guilt and shame in more detail. While you read this, keep in mind these feelings rarely manifest as pure states in an individual. Levels of consciousness vary; you may operate on one level in a given area of your life and on quite another level in another area.

For example, you may be courageous in your career, but experience guilt and shame around relationships. Or you might feel guilt and shame in regards to your body and your health, but feel much more positive about the rest of your life.

Your overall level of consciousness consists of the sum total effect of these various levels. If you raise your level in one area, the rest of your life get a boost also. Sometimes when people work on relationship issues, their career improves first. Or someone is working on money issues and their relationships improve.

Letting go of shame and guilt improves your experience of life.

Regardless of where you are feeling guilt and shame in your life, letting these feelings go will result in a tremendous improvement of your overall experience of life. Guilt and shame represent the heaviest of emotions. If you drop them, you will be casting off a great burden from your consciousness. You will likely feel lighter and more energetic right away. And if not, then please persist in letting them go. The more you put into this, the more you will get out of it.

The truth about shame and how it affect us.

The level of shame is perilously proximate to death. Those who feel strong feelings of shame often choose conscious suicide or, more subtly, electing for death by failing to take care of themselves. Commonly, people at this level of consciousness often die due to avoidable accident or reckless behavior.

We all have some awareness of the pain of “losing face” or feeling like a “nonperson.” In Shame, we hang our heads and slink away, wishing we could immaterialize.

Traditionally, banishment comes with shame. In the ancient societies we all originate from, banishment equivocates to death. Humans are social creatures and we cannot survive on our own.

The effects of guilt and shame on addiction.

Early life experiences such as sexual abuse or neglect lead to shame. These experiences warp how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Dr. Gabor Maté writes in his book In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, that the homeless drug addicts he treated all had one thing in common: they all suffered severe neglect and abuse as children.

These poor souls used drugs in a desperate attempt to escape the guilt and shame instilled in them as children. These people to rarely recover from their addiction, and their life expectancy is short. The only way to recover from addiction is to let go of the emotional pain you are using the addiction to escape from.

Shame is a tool of cruelty.

People use shame as a tool of cruelty, and its victims often become cruel themselves. Shamed children brutalize animals and each other. The behavior of people whose consciousness remains this low is dangerous: prone to paranoid delusions, some become psychotic or commit heinous crimes. Serial killers often act out of sexual moralism, they justify their crimes as punishment for “bad” women.

Some shame-based individuals compensate with perfectionism and rigidity, becoming driven and intolerant. Notorious examples are the moral extremists who dig up some minor “offense” a public figure committed in the past and publicly shame them for it. They project their own unconscious shame onto others and they then feel justified in attacking them. Since shame pulls down the whole level of consciousness, Shame results in a vulnerability to the other negative emotions, and therefore often produces false pride, anger, and guilt.

The truth about guilt and how it affects us.

Guilt, so commonly used in our society to manipulate and punish, manifests itself in a variety of expressions:

  • Remorse

  • Self-recrimination

  • Masochism

  • Victim-hood and Victim consciousness

  • Unforgiving attitudes

Because guilt demands punishment, it often results in disease, accident proneness, and self-harm. A common self-inflicted punishment is denying ourselves the good things in life we desire: loving relationships, success, abundance, and good health. Just like our parents punished us for bad behavior by withholding dessert or playtime, we punish ourselves by denying ourselves the good things in life.

Guilt-dominated consciousness results in a preoccupation with sin or wrongdoing.  Those who feel guilty often have an unforgiving emotional attitude frequently exploited by religious and political demagogues. They use guilt for coercion and control of others. Such “sin-and-salvation” merchants, obsessed with punishment, act out their own guilt, or project it onto others.

How guilt affects relationships and sexual behavior.

Another way guilt manifests is in self-harm or the desire for pain and punishment. The massive success of the book and movie 50 Shades of Grey and the popularity of sadomasochism shows just how much guilt exists in our culture. Women are especially drawn to this because our society makes them feel guilty for having sexual desire or expressing their sexuality. Punishment and humiliation in the context of sexuality brings gratification to guilt they feel regarding their sexuality.

Guilt provokes rage and violence.

Guilt provokes rage, often expressed in murder and killing. We often think of anger as the emotion of violence and killing, but way more people are killed because of shame and guilt than anger.

Capital punishment exemplifies how killing brings gratification to a guilt-ridden society. The American culture, for instance, scorns its victims in the press and dispenses harsh punishments that have never been demonstrated to have any deterrent or corrective value.

Many people struggle with guilt their entire lives. Others desperately attempt escape by amorally denying it altogether through things like atheism and moral relativism. But denying guilt does not make it go away. Only by letting it go or surrendering to it, can you become free of guilt.

How to overcome shame and guilt.

As with any emotion, guilt and shame can be easily let go of. Because it is so contrary to our innate innocence and perfection, it feels heavy. Holding onto these feelings can be like dragging a steel anchor behind us everywhere we go.

Because they feel so heavy, letting them go results in a huge boost to your consciousness and quality of life. In contrast, emotions like anger and pride can be much harder to let go of because carry much more power and energy and guilt and shame.

The simplest way to overcome shame and guilt

The quickest, and simplest way to let go of guilt and shame is to welcome the feeling, and then make the decision let it go. This is the opposite of what we normally do with uncomfortable feelings. What we usually do is try to push these feelings away or hold onto them as if they are real, meaningful, or important. And while you are trying to push them away, you are also holding on to them. To cease to fight with them or attempt to figure them out is to be free from these feelings.

Instead, if you decide to welcome the feelings of guilt and shame, they will release all on their own. The decision to let them go is often unnecessary, but can be helpful for especially sticky feelings.

So let’s first try this with shame:

Allow yourself to think of some situation where you are feeling shame. Where you’ve been feeling belittled, disgraced, or dishonored.

And just take the first thought or feeling that comes to mind.

And could you welcome whatever pictures, sensations, or sounds that brings up in awareness? Could you allow that to be here just for now?

And could you let that feeling go, as best you can? Could you drop it, or just open inside and allow the feeling of shame to release?

Do this as many times as needed to release the feeling of shame.

Now let’s do the same process with guilt:

Allow yourself to think of some situation where you’ve been feeling guilt. Where you’ve been feeling regret, remorse, or like “it’s your fault.”

And just take the first thought or feeling that comes to mind.

And could you welcome whatever pictures, sensations, or sounds that brings up in awareness? Could you allow that to be here just for now?

And could you let that feeling go, as best you can? Could you drop it, or just open inside and allow the feeling of guilt to release?

After you’ve let go of these emotions, you can include the bonus process of choosing to love. See below for more information.

The 3-Step process for releasing guilt and shame

Another way you can overcome guilt and shame is with this three step process. It’s a little different than the previous exercise, but not much. Some people find it to be more effective than the above process. I recommend you try both and see which one works best for you.

Step 1: Become aware of the feeling and allow it to be here.

The first step to letting to become aware of it. Oftentimes, we try everything we can to escape or avoid feelings like shame. We use things like drugs, alcohol, television, sex, etc to numb the pain. But when we do this, it doesn’t make them go away. It only covers up the emotion and the pain for a short while.

Instead of trying to avoid the feeling, allow it to be here instead. Allow yourself to experience it fully. Feel whatever sensations in the body arise with that feeling. Notice any pictures or sounds in your head it’s bringing up. The more you can allow or welcome the pictures, sensations, and sound associated with the feeling of shame, the more easily it will release. To welcome or allow opens your emotional floodgates. When you do this, the emotion flows out naturally just like water would.

Step 2: Notice and allow any wanting to do anything with or about the emotion

Next, notice any wanting to do something with or about that feeling. When we experience an uncomfortable feeling like shame, the first response is to want to get rid of it or push it away. And this keeps it stuck. In fighting with the emotion, we only make it stronger. So along with the sensations, pictures and sounds, notice also any wanting to do anything with or about that emotion.

Step 3: Notice and allow how personal it feels 

And finally, these emotions feel personal. When we experience something like shame, there is a sense of ownership - like it’s about you, about who you are, or that it belongs to you. So notice and welcome or allow any sense the feeling is personal.

Bonus Step: Choose to love yourself

After you follow the first 3 steps, you should at least feel much lighter. But you don’t have to stop there. In doing the first 3 steps, you have most likely created a lot more inner space. Now you have some room to feel love. At this point, you can choose to feel love for yourself or simply to choose love instead of shame.

Love constitutes a high vibrational frequency. It remains much closer to your true nature than shame or guilt. The more you can feel love, the more it will burn away the negative, lower vibration emotions like guilt and shame. It may seem difficult to love at first, but just allow yourself to love as much as you do or as much as you can.

It may only be a little at first, but as you stretch into love, you will feel more love flowing into your consciousness. It’s like trickle of water flowing through a hole in a dam. It may be a small hole and a tiny trickle at first, but over time the water will carve a larger and larger hole. Soon there will be a deluge of water flowing from a gaping hole.

As you let go of shame and guilt, you increase your capacity to love.

As you choose to let go of shame and guilt and choose love instead, your capacity to love will increase. And with that love, comes everything you’ve ever wanted - happiness, the love and affection of others, great abundance, and limitless joy.

Eliminate Shame and Guilt Now

Now you can get a free 1-on-1 coaching session with me to help you let go of shame and guilt. You'll discover my "secret" method to easily release shame and love yourself instead.

To claim your free session, sign up below. On the next page, you'll be connected with my scheduling app where you can find a time that works best for you.

Jeremy Standiford

After a profound spiritual awakening, Jeremy Standiford went from feeling hopeless and unemployed to having it all - health, wealth, and love. Now his mission is to help other people realize true abundance in all aspects of their lives.