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   The Religion Network publishes every Monday, Wednesday & Friday
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Published 7/5/10
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Melody Beattie, Bhagavad-Gita, Henri Nouwen, Book of Psalms


Dear Readers,

Feeling guilty about something you've said or done is one of the worst
feelings in the world. It can be hard to live in your skin because your self-
image becomes so negative. We've all visited this state of being. What's
dangerous is to pitch a tent and live in Camp Guilty! If amends can be made,
then we should make them and let go of the event. If face-to-face reconcil-
iation isn't possible, we may mentally apologize to the one we've offended.
Either way, it's imperative to move on afterward. Some kind of penance is
often helpful in forgiving ourselves. I liked the Hindu version of penance
that is up on today's site. It is a proactive, prayerful penance.

We offend the Lord when we don't forgive ourselves. We glorify
His name when we make the necessary amends and reconcile
ourselves to Him by remembering His infinite mercy. It's
something about which we can feel very good!

- Lisa

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apartment buildings in Venice, Ital
Photo by Stephen Bowman            All rights reserved

Feeling good about ourselves is a choice. So is feeling guilty.
When guilt is legitimate, it acts as a warning light, signaling
that we're off course. Then its purpose is finished.

Wallowing in guilt allows others to control us. It makes us
feel not good enough. It prevents us from setting boundaries
and taking other healthy action to care for ourselves.

... Even if we've done something that violates a value, extended
guilt does not solve the problem; it prolongs the problem. So
make an amend. Change a behavior. Then let guilt go.

Excerpted from "The Language of Letting Go,"
by Melody Beattie
Hazeldon, 1990




Speaking truth without offense,
giving comfort,
and reciting sacred lore
is called verbal penance.

Mental serenity, kindness,
silence, self-restraint,
and purity of being
is called mental penance.

Excerpted from "The Bhagavad-Gita"
Krishna's Counsel in Time of War
Translated by Barbara Stoler Miller
Bantam Classics, 2004




Maybe someone will say to you, "You have to forgive yourself."
But that isn't possible. What is possible is to open your hands
without fear, so the One who loves you can blow your sins away.
... Then you feel a bit of new freedom, and praying becomes
a joy, a spontaneous reaction to the world and the people
around you. Praying then becomes effortless, inspired
and lively, or peaceful and quiet. Then you recognize the
festive and the still moments as moments of prayer.
Then you gradually realize that to pray is to live.

Excerpted from "With Open Hands,"
by Henri J. M. Nouwen
Ballantine Books, 1972

The Last Word:

O Lord, who would be able to stand
if you kept a record of sins?
But with you there is forgiveness
so that you can be feared.

Psalm 130:3-4
The Holy Bible
God's Word Translation






























































Random Bonus Quote:

Use the Teflon side of your mind,
not just the Velcro side.

Lama Surya Das (1950 - )
American-born lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition


Welcome to
The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor
of The Religion Network,
a multi-faith Web site.
We offer motivational
thoughts exploring
various topics each
Monday, Wednesday
and Friday.

The Religion Network
holds that inspiration is
found in all faiths; and
furthermore, that finding
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However you worship,
may this site enhance
your journey. To read
my personal story, click:



Circling Back
For Freedom

Holy Stretching


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