bhp91126 saidSometimes for decades, stuff I did as a teenager and young adult still produces intense flashes of shame.
I try to forgive myself and tell myself that nobody remembers these things but I and that I've suffered enough. That has helped with a couple of issues.
But then, all of a sudden another memory rears its ugly head, no idea what triggered it and I silently scream and have a "hot flash".
OMG! This happens to me too! Glad I'm not the only one.
Any ideas how to overcome them?
Nope, not a clue. I just remind myself that I've already dealt with that crap and go on. I try not to let it bother me.
I think guilt is a good tool, but used gently. We all fuck up at some point in our lives, sometimes unknowingly and some times willfully.
When we cringe with shame for something we've done, it's like a parameter was created in our minds of where we will not go and what we will not do. There is a taming quality to guilt and shame, and that's not such a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when it rules us and we continue living like we're half alive.
One technique I use is to write out my problems, thoughts,memories of my past. I close the book, literally and figuratively, and put it away, literally and figuratively. I have the power of opening the book when I need to, add my stuff then stop carrying it around, weighing me down. Part of memory and maturity is the wisdom to see why we did (and do) the things we do. Live within your guideposts.
Forgive yourself for what you did from ignorance, hold yourself accountable for your willful mistakes and make amends to those you hurt.
Part of forgiveness is accepting we can't change the events of the past. Accept the lessons of your mistakes, but stop beating yourself with reliving those mistakes.
Book 10 of Augustine's Confessions talks about it. He was a sad sack, but let his mistakes guide him to be a better person.
...or maybe I'm talkin' out my ass...