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Friday Inspiration - 29 January 2010
By Melissa Bult

 
Releasing Guilt
   
 
 

Hello everyone,

Lately I have been a witness to a few people dealing with guilt.  We all know what it is like to feel guilty and so in today’s inspiration I want to discuss this emotion and how we can deal with it.

Guilt is an emotion like no other.  The dictionary describes it as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offence, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.   Other emotions have both a positive and negative effect on you but guilt only has a negative effect.  Since it only brings on negative emotion it could be said that it is possibly not an emotion at all. 

It is a warning sign that we learn early on in childhood with the purpose of letting us know we are doing something ‘wrong’ (please note here that ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ are human based labels and people have different ideas of what they mean).  Guilt signals to us that we are not living congruently with our personal values.

We are given the opportunity through the feeling of guilt to re-examine our choices and behaviours.  Some people feel no guilt for what society might view as something quite ‘bad’ and other people feel guilt over everything when in fact they may have done nothing ‘wrong.’ 

In fact some people are addicted to feeling guilty and others use it as a way of avoiding things.  For example, someone might say they must not do something because it will upset someone they care about, but their motivation may be based on their own needs rather than the feelings of their loved one. 

The feeling of guilt is designed to be a messenger, to give us some awareness.  After we get the message our job is to decide how we wish to deal with the behaviour/situation that is causing us the guilt.   Once we have made a decision and moved forward there is no reason left to continue to feel guilty, it now becomes a pointless emotion. 

We might also use guilt to punish ourselves, believing that if we remind ourselves often enough of how ‘bad’ we are then we may never make the same mistakes again.  This does not work and only leaves us feeling shameful and unable to move forward, sometimes creating a cycle of repeated behaviours and guilt over and over again. 

From a metaphysical perspective guilt can be very harmful to the physical body and if left un-checked will lead to states of dis-ease.  Pain of any sort can be an indication of guilt because guilt always seeks punishment and punishment creates pain.  This may manifest as chronic pain disorders in the body.
Holding onto guilt serves us in absolutely no way whatsoever.   Our need to continually punish ourselves for the past is pointless and prevents us from growing.  We must learn from the experiences which cause us guilt and then release and move forward. 

Forgiving ourselves and all others involved is vital.  It is also un-healthy to wish others to feel guilt for their actions or behaviours for this only traps us in a prison of self-righteous resentment.  The only person that suffers from un-forgiveness is you. 

Guilt is also interlinked with shame.  We can feel shame over things that happened to us, who we are, what we desire, what we think, etc… ‘A Course in Miracles’ suggests that the ego can create a feeling within us that we are essentially bad (some religions have been known to encourage this concept) and so we feel guilty from the start without any logical reason! 

We must learn to use guilt in a healthy way, see it as a trigger to let you know something doesn’t feel right, go within and examine this feeling, act according to your truth and then let the guilt go. 

Here are 5 tips on dealing with guilt:

1. Recognise the kind of guilt you have and its purpose right now
2. Make amends or changes as soon as possible 
3. Accept you have done something that is not congruent with your values
4. Learn from your behaviours/choices
5. Recognise that perfection does not exist

Have a great long weekend!

Love and blessings


Melissa x

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