Healing Guilt and Shame

The large intestine is the meridian where we hold feelings of guilt and shame, where we feel "bad," wronged, u...

The body meridians are the energy network of the physical body. They are energy channels 'transporting' life energy (Chi/Qi) throughout the body. The body meridians can be used for both diagnosis as well as treatment of a condition. When the body's life-force energy becomes blocked, various imbalances will result. Energy blockages can be the result of stress, an injury or trauma, or bad living habits (diet, habits/addictions, lack of exercise) and can be traced to the root of all health (physical/mental/spiritual) problems. Our energy flow affects how we feel, how we think and the overall condition of our physical and mental health. For centuries in China, Japan, Tibet, India and other countries, life has been considered as a bio-electrical/vibrational energy phenomenon. All of Eastern medicine is based on understanding the body meridians. It is only because of the existence of this energy in our body that we can move, breathe, digest food… think and even feel.

The large intestine is the meridian where we hold feelings of guilt and shame, where we feel "bad," wronged, unclean, undervalued, of little self-worth, unhonoured and judged. If this meridian is blocked then we are unable to "feel" or we have blocked our feelings.

The large intestine controls the transformation of digestive wastes from liquid to solid state and transports the solids onwards for excretion (the body’s apana.) It plays a major role in the balance and purity of bodily fluids. It cleanses the body of physical waste and has a close connection with the lung meridian, both being grouped under the "metal" or "air" element. Sluggish bowels may be stimulated and constipation may be eased by deep diaphragmatic breathing or aerobic exercise.

The large intestine stores feces for defecation. As babies and toddlers we are labelled unclean, bad and shameful when we soil our nappies or have accidents during toilet training. This leads to an imbalance in the large intestine meridian. It is where we hold our psychological "dirt" or waste. Here we store emotions such as guilt, shame, unworthiness and badness and this affects our ability to speak about what we feel. We also store judgment here when we call others bad, and thus, eventually, we may become emotionally and physically constipated.

Psychologically this is a difficult area because often we do not wish to face our feelings because they make us or others feel bad or guilty hence this sacral centre becomes blocked. We repress our feelings into a "darkness" and make them unconscious. In fact, facing our feelings actually sets us free as "darkness" is simply the absence of light. Expressing our feelings with the intention to forgive, let go and learn about our ourselves is far better that expressing our feelings with the intent to reinforce our egoic mind.

Much of our psyche is formed in childhood experiences. If we are hurt in some way in childhood, we often hide our feelings and act “like a grown up” to please the parent, guardian or sibling. The wounded part gets split off and the pain, guilt or shame becomes embedded in the psyche. Actual memories are suppressed or lost because we simply must get on in life. Later in life, experiences trigger these buried memories from the past which contain unresolved emotions. These old emotions are projected onto husbands, wives, friends, employers, children, community members, etc. It is negative emotions that can cause harm to other people and create extra karma in our lives. Negative emotions are like a ball of fire, they burn everything in their path. It is better to get in touch with our feelings. It is only then that we look inward into our psyche and the wounded inner child.

Getting in touch with our wounded inner child psyche is a spiritual task. The feelings of fear, anger, pain, jealousy, sadness etc. which we hold prevent us from truly merging with our soul. The feelings seem huge because they’ve been bottled up for many years. By undergoing inner child therapy work and confronting the past by e.g., writing, talking to someone, using counselling skills such as CBT or NLP we allow the child-parts from the past to transmute. Reciting shabads and Nitnem also helps one to heal.

Another way is to meditate on your feelings is simply keeping a journal or diary. If you can, find a safe a quiet place where you can sit down and do this. Let the feelings emerge. Accept all of them, even though it is painful. If you can’t bear all of it at once, tell yourself that you will listen for as long as you can. As the feelings emerge, listen unconditionally or write. Sometimes you may feel completely embarrassed and overwhelmed by your feelings, like you are being the child. That’s OK. If you stay in that place, just notice what’s happening. Keep listening or writing. Then forgive the aggressor, embrace and bestow self-worth, value and praise on your inner child. The act of forgiveness opens the blocked heart centre. By doing this we release the old energy of shame, guilt, resentment, bitterness and conflict and we surrender the experience to the divine. We also allow more of our soul energy and compassion to enter our heart which will allow us to deal with relationships better.

Affirmations

I am worthy. I have self-worth
I am valuable
I am clean. I am beautiful.
I am not bad. I am loved.
I am healable.
I am feeling.
You are not bad (releases others from your judgemental mind)
I am honorable.

These affirmations help balance the large intestine meridian and should be expressed with humbleness. If there is a difficulty or resistance in expressing them then it is a good idea to look into the reasons why, or you may try writing the reasons in a journal or diary.
Start your sentences e.g. by writing - I feel unworthy because........
I feel bad because....... etc. 

By expressing and releasing your feeling in this way you may find it is easier to say the affirmation afterwards. 

Extract from Guru Granth Sahib

Har Jeeo Nimaaniaa Thoo Maan
Nicheejiaa Cheej Karae Maeraa Govindh Thaeree Kudharath Ko Kurabaan
Jaisaa Baalak Bhaae Subhaaee Lakh Aparaadhh Kamaavai
Kar Oupadhaes Jhirrakae Bahu Bhaathee Bahurr Pithaa Gal Laavai
Pishhalae Aougun Bakhas Leae Prabh Aagai Maarag Paavai

O Dear Lord, You are the honor of the dishonored.
You make the unworthy ones worthy.
O my Lord of the Universe; I am a sacrifice to Your almighty creative power.
Like the child, innocently making thousands of mistakes
His father teaches him, and scolds him so many times, but still, he hugs him close in his embrace.
Please forgive my past actions, God, and place me on Your path for the future. (ang 624)

The divine is forever forgiving and always ready to listen. If we believe that, then we are well on the path to healing ourselves. If we take one step towards the divine then the divine takes many steps towards us. The moment we surrender and ask for help, we are opening our heart to love and receiving guidance.

Jo Thudhh Bhaanaa Janth So Thudhh Bujhee
Jo Thudhh Bhaanaa Janth S Dharageh Sijhee
Jis No Thaeree Nadhar Houmai This Gee
Jis No Thoo Santhusatt Kalamal This Khee
Jis Kai Suaamee Val Nirabho So Bhee
Jis No Thoo Kirapaal Sachaa So Thhiaee
Jis No Thaeree Maeiaa N Pohai Aganee
This No Sadhaa Dhaeiaal Jin Gur Thae Math Lee

He alone understands You, Lord, with whom You are pleased.
He alone is approved in the Court of the Lord, with whom You are pleased.
Egotism is eradicated, when You bestow Your Grace.
Sins are erased, when You are thoroughly pleased.
One who has the Lord Master on his side, becomes fearless.
One who is blessed with Your Mercy, becomes truthful
One who is blessed with Your Kindness, is not touched by fire.
You are forever Merciful to those who are receptive to the Guru's Teachings. (ang 961)

 

Photo credit:© Valuavitaly | Dreamstime.com - Shame

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