How to forgive oneself?

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SkyFox
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How to forgive oneself?

Post by SkyFox »

Ok, here it goes. It's 8:05 Am right now, and I just can't sleep; the thoughts are haunting me. I need to get this off my chest.

I had a pet dog whom I loved more than life itself. We did everything together and even slept on the same bed for over a decade. During a terrible period in my life, I neglected him. I didn't give him the properly treatment and care he deserved.I ignored all signs of his deteriorating health. I, myself, was very sick during that period; both mentally and physically. I'm doing a lot better now and life is picking up, but I still can't forgive myself.

It's been over a decade, and there are nights where I still can't sleep; the flashbacks + OCD are terrible. I still miss him and I still blame myself. Every time it gets bad, I turn to porn ( another destructive behaviour) to feel better. And I hate how am I so dependant on that, too. For the last 6 hours, instead of sleep, I been ocding again. No one understands. Forum members, how does one get over something like this? Please give me some advice.

Fyi- Sometimes, I think I've forgiven myself and then something out of the blue just triggers the memories; it's very random.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Would you forgive someone else if they had the same circumstances in their life at the time and had also been neglectful?
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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SkyFox
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by SkyFox »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:53 pm Would you forgive someone else if they had the same circumstances in their life at the time and had also been neglectful?
Yes, I would. But you know, people tend to be much harder on themselves than on others. And to me It wasn't a pet; it was a brother. I loved him more than my siblings. He suffered so much before he died, and I only found out he was blind and deaf a bit before he died; that was the extent of the neglect. Sometimes I feel inhumane and that I should rot in hell with all the other hell beings.

Edit- No, Never mind. I blame my mother just as much as I blame myself. She kept insisting that bringing him to the vet will cost too much money.
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FiveSkandhas
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by FiveSkandhas »

Excessive guilt and self-blame is seen as a form of attachment, which of course is one of the fundamental ills we as Buddhists are committed to eradicate in ourselves.

When you come to view your persistent feelings of self-blame as akin to any other attachment, such as a craving for wealth or sex or heroin or whatever, the shift in perspective can be quite surprising, even startling -- and hopefully at least somewhat liberating.

You may realize that on a subtle level, your wallowing in guilt actually has an egotistical, self-righteous dimension to it. You are perhaps on some level attached to a stiff-necked, prideful self-righteous sensation that by stoically punishing yourself, you are a stronger, more morally pure person than the average slob. Doesn't your willingness to submerge yourself in guilt prove you are willing to unflinchingly look at the "bitter truth" with such clear, steely eyed vision? What a straight-backed Spartan warrior you are! So strong!

At the same time as you indulge this poisonous pride, there is also a seemingly justified "woe is me" excuse to wallow in a kind of cringing self-pity: How unfair that such a morally superior being, willing to nobly shoulder an awful moral burden of guilt, actually has to suffer such agony. The fact that you are imposing this pain on yourself is, naturally, conveniently forgotten.

The way out of this whole mess is to learn to let go of your attachment to guilt. Perform a repentance ritual, which often concludes with contemplation of emptiness. Because of the nature of emptiness, there is ultimately no "you" that needs to be self-tormented.

Hopefully this realization will allow the feelings of guilt to dissolve in the essential truth that there is no self to which they are chained. Watch the gult float away like a child's balloon disappearing into the blue sky.
"One should cultivate contemplation in one’s foibles. The foibles are like fish, and contemplation is like fishing hooks. If there are no fish, then the fishing hooks have no use. The bigger the fish is, the better the result we will get. As long as the fishing hooks keep at it, all foibles will eventually be contained and controlled at will." -Zhiyi

"Just be kind." -Atisha
muni
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by muni »

ConfusedOne wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:22 pm Ok, here it goes. It's 8:05 Am right now, and I just can't sleep; the thoughts are haunting me. I need to get this off my chest.

I had a pet dog whom I loved more than life itself. We did everything together and even slept on the same bed for over a decade. During a terrible period in my life, I neglected him. I didn't give him the properly treatment and care he deserved.I ignored all signs of his deteriorating health. I, myself, was very sick during that period; both mentally and physically. I'm doing a lot better now and life is picking up, but I still can't forgive myself.

It's been over a decade, and there are nights where I still can't sleep; the flashbacks + OCD are terrible. I still miss him and I still blame myself. Every time it gets bad, I turn to porn ( another destructive behaviour) to feel better. And I hate how am I so dependant on that, too. For the last 6 hours, instead of sleep, I been ocding again. No one understands. Forum members, how does one get over something like this? Please give me some advice.

Fyi- Sometimes, I think I've forgiven myself and then something out of the blue just triggers the memories; it's very random.
My friend,
Do not hold on these thoughts, let them pass. Do not start to interact with these thoughts. Or when they pop up, change of "channel". Or you could sing mantra for the welfare of all beings

We can only do our best for whether human or animal. And sometimes it can be difficult when we are sick.

What we can do right now, is what is important. You could maybe consider when circumstances are okay, to take care of a rescue dog, waiting for your compassion loving kindness. :hug:
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

ConfusedOne wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:02 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:53 pm Would you forgive someone else if they had the same circumstances in their life at the time and had also been neglectful?
Yes, I would.
Okay, now, another question:
Why would you forgive that person?(we are assuming his situation was just like yours).
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Konchog Thogme Jampa
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by Konchog Thogme Jampa »

Get a Tara practice then you can practice alleviating your own suffering and dedicate to your dog at the same time alleviating their suffering too
4. From each and every dear companion we will part.
We will leave possessions for which we've strived so hard.
The body's guest house the guest, consciousness, will lose.
To renounce this life is what bodhisattvas do.

Om Mani Padme Hum



དཀོན་མཆོག་ཐོགས་མེད་འབྱམས་པ

Konchog Thogme Jampa
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SkyFox
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by SkyFox »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 6:13 pm
ConfusedOne wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 3:02 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:53 pm Would you forgive someone else if they had the same circumstances in their life at the time and had also been neglectful?
Yes, I would.
Okay, now, another question:
Why would you forgive that person?(we are assuming his situation was just like yours).
Ok, now I've gotten a bit of sleep I feel a lot better. I would have forgiven that person because I know that person didn't mean to do what they did, and I know that persona is probably feeling immense regret/suffering. Thanks a lot PadmaVonSamba, always looking forward to reading your post: there is always so much wisdom :buddha2:

@Muni Thanks a lot for those kind words :crying: I'm waiting for day where I'm in a position to raise pets and give back to the humane society, so I can make up for what I've done. What little I can do right now is going to a human organization and a Buddhist temple. Even though I love animals more than 99.99 percent of humans, this forum has made me understand the preciousness of human rebirths :cry:

@everyone thanks guys for your inputs. I really appreciate you guys taking your time to give me some pep talk :buddha1: ( don't know if this is the right wording)
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Tills ljuset tar oss
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by Tills ljuset tar oss »

Remember the words of Buddha. He said that we should not be bothered by our past. There is always a bright future for anyone who believes in Buddha. Be good.

Stay close to the dharma.
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

ConfusedOne wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 8:20 pm
I would have forgiven that person because I know that person didn't mean to do what they did, and I know that persona is probably feeling immense regret/suffering. Thanks a lot PadmaVonSamba
About 3 or 4 years ago I had to have my German Shepherd put to sleep. He was still very young. 99% percent of him was perfectly healthy. But a disease in his spine was causing him to no longer use his arms and legs. He was not very happy, and his condition was only getting worse each day.

Yes, a dog (or cat) is much more than just that. They rely on us for everything and give us unconditional love. It was a very tearful time. In fact, there is only one other human I’ve ever felt so distraught about losing more than I have the animals in my life. Life is full of mistakes. If it wasn’t, we would all be realized Buddhas by now.
EMPTIFUL.
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SkyFox
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by SkyFox »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Feb 04, 2022 2:20 am Life is full of mistakes. If it wasn’t, we would all be realized Buddhas by now.
My second dog, a chihuahua, also suffered from a spinal disease. But out of guilt, I choose to keep him alive and just carried him everywhere.Before my dogs were sick, a woman, in a much better financial position than I was, asked if I was willing to give them to her, but I was too attached. If I could go back, I would've given them to her without a second thought. And from this, I learned that sometimes the best way to love something is to let it go.

And your right. As much as it sucks, I've learned and grown so much during this process that I feel like I would be a totally different person if I didn't experienced What I did, thanks again :namaste:

@Tills ljuset tar oss: your right, thank you
floatingbubbles07
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by floatingbubbles07 »

Hello,
As someone who suffers from OCD myself, I can definitely say that the reason why the OCD got so bad for me is because I refused to forgive myself over something I did that may have counted as a deadly sin, and so I kept the angry fire burning. I remember one night I couldn't take it anymore and decided to get help. I was hospitalized for 3 and a half weeks and put on medications. One doctor told me during that time, that you cannot forgive others without forgiving yourself first. Once I started to move on from the past, my life became a lot better and my OCD stopped happening as much. Of course, I still regret what I did greatly, but I try not to let that control my life any longer. I'm pretty sure if someone clouded by so much anger like me could seek help and decide to live happily despite any sins I may have committed, then you can too :namaste:
I wish you all the best in your journey to healing.

-Bubbles
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SkyFox
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by SkyFox »

floatingbubbles07 wrote: Thu Mar 03, 2022 12:14 am Hello,
As someone who suffers from OCD myself, I can definitely say that the reason why the OCD got so bad for me is because I refused to forgive myself over something I did that may have counted as a deadly sin, and so I kept the angry fire burning. I remember one night I couldn't take it anymore and decided to get help. I was hospitalized for 3 and a half weeks and put on medications. One doctor told me during that time, that you cannot forgive others without forgiving yourself first. Once I started to move on from the past, my life became a lot better and my OCD stopped happening as much. Of course, I still regret what I did greatly, but I try not to let that control my life any longer. I'm pretty sure if someone clouded by so much anger like me could seek help and decide to live happily despite any sins I may have committed, then you can too :namaste:
I wish you all the best in your journey to healing.

-Bubbles
Thank you very much for sharing my friend; we all have our past demons, but it's imperative that we forgive ourselves in order to move on and grow. This what I tell myself anyways, but sometimes it is just so hard; Wish you the very best too :namaste:
blazer
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Re: How to forgive oneself?

Post by blazer »

SkyFox wrote: Wed Feb 02, 2022 2:22 pm Ok, here it goes. It's 8:05 Am right now, and I just can't sleep; the thoughts are haunting me. I need to get this off my chest.

I had a pet dog whom I loved more than life itself. We did everything together and even slept on the same bed for over a decade. During a terrible period in my life, I neglected him. I didn't give him the properly treatment and care he deserved.I ignored all signs of his deteriorating health. I, myself, was very sick during that period; both mentally and physically. I'm doing a lot better now and life is picking up, but I still can't forgive myself.

It's been over a decade, and there are nights where I still can't sleep; the flashbacks + OCD are terrible. I still miss him and I still blame myself. Every time it gets bad, I turn to porn ( another destructive behaviour) to feel better. And I hate how am I so dependant on that, too. For the last 6 hours, instead of sleep, I been ocding again. No one understands. Forum members, how does one get over something like this? Please give me some advice.

Fyi- Sometimes, I think I've forgiven myself and then something out of the blue just triggers the memories; it's very random.
To forgive yourself, learn first to forgive others.
It will work as a very good exercise.
From another point of view, think about Ignorance.

The ignorance that you had when you caused harm to yourself. Focus on your suffering, and meditate.
The ignorance that you had when you caused harm to others. Focus on their suffering, and meditate.


Because of the first, the second is much more true.
At the end of meditation, you may learn that everyone causes harm to everyone, oneself included.
It is part of the truth of Ignorance.
It has been my way to go.
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