Sometimes we blame ourselves for choices we’ve made in the past and go into a space of deep loneliness and shame.  We spiral down in a self fulfilling funnel where we blame ourselves for not being able to climb out of the depths.

When I am in a shame spiral, I have learned to test my negative thoughts against Love using a pen and paper.

I have found that I can’t talk myself out of the depths and when I try to write it out, if I use my laptop it doesn’t work either.  My ego jumps in front of me and makes up all kinds of excuses.  Taking a pen and paper slows things down and allows me to focus.

I have to write things down on paper so that my ego can’t outwit me.

First, I get a pen and paper and then I imagine the most compassionate loving generous human that I can.  I imagine a person who is not able to judge anything, a person who brings kindness and allowance to every situation.

Then I write on paper, to that person – “I am in deep trouble.  I need you.”

Then I write a response from that person– “I am here, what can I do for you?”

I write – “I am in such trouble right now,” and then I write down everything that I am going through.

Then I write what that compassionate person would say – “I love you, you are doing your best, you are a divine being, worthy of forgiveness and compassion and love and you didn’t know – if you had known, you wouldn’t have done it. You are really tired right now and you need your rest.  You are innocent.  We are all innocent.  I’m going to sit with you all night and be here if you need me.

I bring all my arguments and test them against that voice.   I write – “I was an asshole, I am despicable.  I did this and that and it was a stupid unforgivable choice.”  I write whatever it is that is troubling me.  I bring all of the worst fears and problems to the page and write them down. That voice will take the worst that I can throw at her and she will work through it with me.  She always responds with love.

Never once has that voice said to me – yeah, you suck.

The response is always compassion and love.  There is forgiveness and kindness.  That compassionate person is a friend to me when I am not able to be a friend to myself.

This is a voice that we can all access.  We’ve all heard those words of love; we have all offered those words to others when they needed it.  We have all given support to someone in need or shown kindness to strangers.

Your emotions are energy in motion.

They are asking to be witnessed.  They are seeking validation and love.   And when they feel heard, they will move through you.

This post first appeared on by Tree Langdon.     Don’t miss out on future posts 


This discussion was inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert speaking on forgiveness and love at the Self Acceptance Summit