Making mistakes is a normal part of being human, and one that serves a major purpose in our spiritual growth. Our mistakes show us what we need to work on, teach us what we need to learn, and ultimately help us grow. But even when we know this, it can still prove difficult to move past our failures and forgive ourselves.
"Making mistakes is a normal part of being human."
One of the biggest obstacles preventing us from using our mistakes for their true spiritual purpose is guilt. Whether we took bad advice, acted selfishly, or just made an honest mistake, harboring negative feelings about ourselves can cause us incredible stress. When we continue to dwell on the past, it can affect the way we see ourselves, the way we treat others, and the way we behave. It is important to remember that even in our darkest moments, the Light of the Creator is still with us.
Here are 5 spiritual lessons to remember when dealing with feelings of guilt:
1. Mistakes do not diminish your worth.
Though it can be tempting to get down on ourselves or think that we are bad people because we have done something wrong, the truth is, nothing we do can ever take away from the value of our souls. The kabbalists teach that our souls are each made of the same essence as the Creator. That powerful, boundless energy is a core part of our makeup. And that never changes! It is important to realize that our past indiscretions do not define us nor make us any lesser in the eyes of the Creator.
2. Failure is part of the growing process.
Remember that no one is perfect. Not only do our mistakes teach us valuable lessons, but they also remind us that we are still growing. We have the choice to let this get us down or to inspire us to work even harder. If we never made mistakes, we would never be motivated to change or transform ourselves for the better.
3. Guilt indicates that we need to make a change.
When we experience guilt, it is a signal that there is something we need to work on. It is a hidden blessing when we realize this, because it shows us where to focus our attention and spiritual work. If we see that we have been making careless errors at work, we know we need to start concentrating more and cutting out distractions. If we notice that our selfish actions have hurt a loved one, we can focus our efforts on coming from a more selfless place in the future. Knowing what we need to work on is the first step in making huge spiritual transformations!
4. Beating yourself up is worse than the actual mistake.
When we do something wrong, it can often feel like we are so bad, there is no way the Creator could love or forgive us. But it is not our mistakes that pull us away from the Creator, but rather when we fall into despair. When we lose hope, we lose sight of the Creator’s hand in everything around us. We stop appreciating the hidden blessings and lessons He is trying to teach us. We stop loving ourselves. If we are made from the Creator, then loving ourselves is a form of loving the Creator. When we forget this, we turn away from the Creator. And that is far worse than any mistake or failure. The Creator wants us to get back up, dust ourselves off, and move forward with love, compassion, and forgiveness.
5. You have the ability to transform.
The kabbalists teach that when we make a true, spiritual change, no matter how big or small, we actually become a new person on a spiritual level. This new person is completely separated from the person we were when we made whatever mistakes we made in the past. Every day we have the opportunity to transform into someone new. As long as we are striving to become even better versions of ourselves, there is no reason to feel guilt or sadness about ourselves.
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Guilt can be a powerful motivator for us to reevaluate ourselves and make deep, spiritual changes. But it is important that we never let it overwhelm us to the point that we are crippled by fear, regret, or sadness. Hold on to the lessons and the hidden blessings the Creator is showering us with, even in your darkest moments. Our failures are incredible opportunities for us to learn, grow, and transform into even better versions of ourselves.