Do you have an aching heart due to various events in your life, and blame yourself for them? "Don't blame yourself anymore. You have already suffered enough." I give you these words to free your mind.
From the teachings of Master Ryuho Okawa, I have selected a prescription for you to calm the mind that blames yourself.
The Courage to Forgive Yourself
You need to know the way to live through this life and use all the wisdom at your disposal. However, no matter how great your command of wisdom might be, there are sometimes obstacles that are impossible to overcome. For instance, although you might be eager to become prime minister of a country, there is very little likelihood of your achieving this aim. If you look at the odds, you will realize that they are more than a thousand to one, or even more than ten thousand to one.
This is not to say that a prime minister is smarter than you; that is not necessarily the case. While this is mysterious, the people who become prime ministers do so because they are fated to do so. In the same way, people who do not have the fate will not become prime minister, however much they may want to. Their ambitions will most likely be thwarted. Or if you want to become an emperor, you will have to start a revolution and it is more likely you will receive the death penalty than achieve your dream.
When facing a challenge, you will of course need to consider the situation calmly, fight with all the talents available to you in this world and strive to win, but sometimes you may be unable to win and find yourself fighting a losing battle. At such times, your ability to continue standing firm and to endure the situation is very important.
What is needed when you have not been able to achieve your goal and have failed despite all your best efforts and wisdom? It is courage, the courage to forgive yourself. You may want to reproach yourself, saying that you are no good, you are a failure, but you need to have the courage to forgive yourself in defeat. Tell yourself that you did your best, you tried your hardest, that although you couldn't achieve your goal, it was beyond your control. You need the strength and courage to forgive yourself in this way.
When you have unfortunately failed to achieve success despite having done your utmost, to the best of your ability, you need the courage to put away your “weapons” with good grace and admit defeat. While it is quite painful to concede that you have lost, you need the courage to do so. At such times, the power of self-forgiveness will come forth.
There are people who continue to suffer from failure for ten or twenty years, being unable to forgive themselves. During the course of their lives, people experience all kinds of failures—involving human relations, work, business, or the opposite sex. Many people experience suffering in their lives and there are as many sorrows, failures and broken hopes in this world as there are people. It is sad, but unfortunately not everyone can succeed because in many cases, one person's success is another person's failure.
When you fail, it is foolish to suffer endlessly. You need to reflect on the areas that require reflection, apologize where necessary, recognize any mistakes you may have made, and decide not to repeat the same mistakes again. Nevertheless, it is utterly foolish to suffer for longer than necessary.
In both the civil and criminal law of Japan, there is a system called the statute of limitations, which states that a person cannot be tried for a crime after a set period of time has elapsed. One reason for this is technical. For example, after several years, the relationship between what is to be gained or lost will become unclear, or the evidence becomes obscure or irrelevant.
Another reason is that people's memories and emotions will fade with time. For instance, if a civil case were to be brought to reclaim a loan that was decades old, it would be difficult to prove whether the loan had actually been made; the relationship between creditor and debtor has become unclear and people's memories would have become faint. On top of that, a creditor demanding money back after ten or twenty years could simply mean that it was insignificant to him.
In the case of murder, if someone makes an accusation many years after the event, the evidence and people connected to the case may no longer be available for trial and the details of the case will have become unclear. In addition to this, the emotions of hate and fear will also have weakened somewhat. It is for these reasons that the statute of limitations exists.
If a time limit exists in law, it should also exist in the mind, in your own mind. So, tell yourself, “I have already suffered enough for that mistake. Three years have passed now so it is about time for me to forgive myself.”
Bullying yourself makes not only you unhappy, but others as well
Some types are more prone to cancer than others. These include those who do harm to others and those who have too strong a view of self-punishment and bully themselves too much, in short, those who think that they are sinners who have done wrong.
When you have a feeling that you cannot forgive yourself, it will manifest itself as an illness somewhere down the road. In a sense, you punish yourself, but your reason of punishment against you becomes a reality, and you may develop a disease that is appropriate for you. Where in the body the symptoms appear is different for each person, but that is how the disease is created.
In this case, it is caused by a "pain in the conscience."
In the case of the aggressive type, according to our teaching, it is caused by " greed, anger, and foolishness (ignorance)," that is, a greedy, covetous mind, an angry mind, and a foolish mind.
Therefore, it is important to train to remove the foolish mind that is deluded by vexations and to create a peaceful and meditative mind while reflecting on such matters. For this purpose, it would be good to receive training at a Happy Science temple, for example.
The other type, self-blame is more common among religious personalities, so such people must be careful.
Please also remember that others are not the only human beings. It is wrong to think people except me are the only human beings, or the humankind. You are also a human being, and you are also part of humankind. You are also a human being whom Buddha has permitted to exist in this world. You are also a being whom God, the source of all beings, has given light to.
Even if you are a good person, sincere, responsible, with a sense of mission, serious, never skipping work, and very dedicated, but if you have a strong sense of self-punishment, you are damaging yourself, the one life that was born as a human being. Thus, bullying and crushing yourself will not only make you unhappy, but will eventually bring others down as well. It is still not worse for only you to be unhappy, but you make your family and others unhappy as well.
For example, in the case of a person who was "serious and responsible, worked diligently with all the responsibility of the company on his shoulders, developed cancer, and died at the age of forty-five," the company would be in trouble, and the family left behind would have a difficult time after that.
"Blaming oneself" may seem like justice, but one must know that too much of it can still be evil.
What is important here is that "with regard to the self-punishment of people with religious, moral, and ethical personalities, we cannot resolve the issue without including the concept of 'forgiveness'.
Such a person should know, "No one is perfect one hundred percent, either for himself or for others. Many people live their lives making all kinds of mistakes. They make mistakes, but they also do the right thing. They fail, but they also succeed." We need to realize that we are both sides of the same coin.
(from “The Laws of Resurrection” by Ryuho Okawa)
Check for the Tendency to Love Unhappiness
Some people seem to find delight in the waves of troubles they face and swim toward them, even to the point of feeling as if they're drowning and gasping for air. If this has been the case with you, you will need to resolve this pattern of mind. In several of my books, including The Unhappiness Syndrome, I've mentioned that we humans seldom notice our tendency to love unhappiness, and I think that this mindset exists in everyone. While others may easily be able to point out this aspect of you, it can be a difficult thing to recognize by yourself.
Past events that brought you sadness, suffering, and failure may have become engraved into your heart and led you to develop a failure-based mindset. When a similar situation crops up to remind you of your past experiences, the failure-seeking pattern steers you in the direction of further failure, so you may find yourself repeating your experiences over and over, whether at work or in human relationships. The hint of a past setback makes you brace yourself in anticipation, which itself invites the very same events to occur again.
We humans tend to blame our external circumstances and the people around us for the misfortunes in our lives. We seldom realize that there is a failure- seeking pattern of our own making that is leading us to repeat our unhappy experiences. This is the reason that those who are unhappy bring further unhappiness upon themselves.
If similar misfortunes have struck you twice, three times, or more, take a step back and take a third-party perspective to observe yourself. Take a middle-way perspective to look within yourself with a clean mental slate.
What you learn from these failures is really the key in the Success Theory. If the only things you can draw from failure are simply self-pity, a feeling of inferiority and grudges against the world, then it will be difficult for you to join the group of successful people.
What will you learn from your failures? To have failed means that you have taken on a challenge. You won’t fail if you don’t take on a challenge. If you failed as a result of taking on a challenge, then what you learn from it is of great significance. The very fact that you failed provides you with the material for contemplating what you lacked and why you didn’t succeed. Perhaps, for example, you did not have sufficient ability or talent. Maybe the environment you were in was poor. There may have been other circumstances.
Despite all that, reality is most certainly teaching you some kind of lesson. It is crucial to learn all you can from such experiences. If you do so, when a similar situation occurs again you will easily be able to overcome it. Once you are able to overcome a similar situation easily, a new trial will present itself. You must then overcome that, too.
The most important aspect of the Success Theory, as I stated previously, is to find and grasp the seeds of success from your failures. You must take care to maintain this attitude. You will not succeed just by avoiding failure because it will mean that you are not challenging yourself in any way.
There will be failure so long as you take on the challenge of something new. You must grasp something from your failures and take yourself to the next level.