How do I get over being nervous and embarrassed about confessing?

I haven’t confessed in a while but I really want to. It’s just that whenever I think about it or when I’m outside the confession room, I get really nervous. I also tend to get embarrassed because of my sins. These are two of the main reasons why I tend not to go confess. I get nervous because these are my secrets and just thinking about someone knowing these secrets makes me feel like I’ll be judged. I get embarrassed for the things I’ve done and I truly am ashamed. So I was wondering if there are any ways to get over these two feelings. So that it can make confessing a whole lot easier.

Suppose you had a suspicious-looking growth on a private area of your anatomy. You might feel nervous and embarrassed about having to show the growth to the doctor, or even to try to explain where exactly you have this growth. But if you don’t muster up the courage to do so anyway, what now might be a minor lesion could morph into a terminal illness.

I once had to deal with a situation like that, and I dreaded going to the doctor. When I did, I stuttered over explaining the problem, but then I was relieved to see that the doctor already knew how to deal with it. He used neutral words to describe the situation; he took steps to ensure my privacy and dignity while examing the spot (for example, using privacy drapes to avoid exposing any more to his view than was absolutely necessary). Then he gave me the necessary treatment. Because I had gone to the doctor in time, the problem was solved while it was still very minor.

I share this because it is analogous to confession. You may stutter in revealing certain types of sins you committed. But the priest will not judge you. He’ll speak neutrally; he’ll give you perspective and comfort, if possible. You can choose to confess from behind a privacy screen so that the priest will not be able to see you. And once you say what must be said, the priest will give you absolution and the matter will be done and resolved. But, if you continue to wait, the situation will only get worse; you’ll probably find it harder to confess down the line; the sins may take deeper root in your life and continue to eat away at your soul; you could, God forbid, become incapacitated or otherwise incapable of confessing your sins.

In short, do what you need to do to confess your sins now. You don’t want to wait until they seem to be overwhelming and impossible to confess at some point down the road.

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