Guilt … the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving – that painful, destructive and largely unhelpful emotion.
I have to say I have never felt the pull to write about guilt, until now.
I write about things as they come up in my life, and others around me. Guilt is a subject that has been coming up so much lately! And that’s my cue to call!
Guilt …. the emotion itself is extremely powerful and almost as crippling as fear. Almost. I guess it’s very similar in a way.
Since being on my spiritual journey, my thoughts on guilt have changed. I believe it’s poorly understood. So much so that I barely understand it myself.
Guilt is an emotion that arises when a person believes they have done something wrong, or violated a moral standard, leaving them feeling totally responsible for a certain situation that has occurred within their journey.
Now, this could very well be true, and in many situations people do bad things and on all different levels. Some of these things are so horrific that these people will feel guilt and remorse. Who knows? We can’t even judge them because we don’t know their story.
My issue with guilt is that many people are starting to hold onto guilt for far longer than they have to. And even worse, people are believing (and even find enjoyment) in allowing another person to suffer due to ‘unforgiveness’. This generation has become really good at feeling guilty over things that are totally out of their own control. As humans in this day and age I feel that we are starting to feel guilty over just about anything! And from what I have been witnessing and hearing, we are feeling guilty on other people’s behalf – when it’s not even our own issue! It’s basically people pleasing and we all know that gets you nowhere.
For those who follow the blog, you will know that I went through a very toxic relationship, which I speak very openly about in one of my first posts, “My Love Addiction”.
My journey through this relationship was always jam packed full of guilt. Even when it wasn’t my doing, I was taking a lot of guilt on board – for no reason. At that stage, I had no personal boundaries, so anyone was able to take my energy away from me. I was vulnerable.
It took a long time for me to get out of that mind frame – that I had nothing to feel guilty about. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have done many wrong things and I have made many mistakes that have landed me in a place of guilt. I just don’t believe that we deserve to suffer over these mistakes and that’s what’s happening. People are suffering in silence over something that may have happened in the past. It’s the act of self-hate that I don’t like.
The way I see it – it’s all just lessons. Life to me is just a series of lessons that we go through on our journey that help shape and mold us into the people who we are today. Without mistakes we WILL NOT grow and evolve, and ultimately that is what we are here to do.
When, as a society, will we realise that mistakes are all part of this wonderful journey? I cannot express enough the importance of letting go and freeing yourself of this destructive emotion.
It’s all about forgiveness. I spoke to a young man about a situation of cheating the other day. Infidelity is a huge one for people. This friend had cheated one year ago and was still feeling terrible about it. He held onto this guilt and self-loathed for a whole year before our interaction. So, even though his girlfriend knew about it, they had been through their rough patch and it was all out in the open, he had actually been the one to tell her. Now What he did was extremely hurtful, and I totally understand that. It was disloyal and created a very painful few months within his relationship.
However, the girlfriend decided to stay with him and to work it out because she loved him and even though he cheated, I wholeheartedly believe that he loved her too. Some would beg to differ. I personally think that this was just a terrible mistake that this young man made and he was extremely remorseful and you could see that in his eyes. Why had an entire year past and this man was still cringing and self-punishing over it? It was because the girlfriend hadn’t forgiven him – that’s why. This is why cheating can ruin relationships (I also believe you can overcome it), but it’s because forgiveness is hard and thats when resentment kicks in. So, in my opinion it’s best to leave or take a break (even for a while) until you are ready to forgive properly. Nobody deserves to suffer for that long and if you choose to return to that relationship, you are choosing to forgive and move forward.
For me, guilt and people pleasing came hand in hand. I distinctly remember always feeling guilty for wanting solitude. I was a lot younger and clearly that comes with age. However, I felt bad about wanting to create healthy boundaries. I felt as though I had to make sure everyone was happy before I was. Let me tell you right now, I was so fucking happy I snapped out of that one!
Today, I am the total opposite and it works best for everyone. I make sure that I’m happy first. I know that sounds selfish, but that’s only because that’s what you have been taught by your parents and basically everyone else as you have grown up. How often did you hear, “put others first”? So that you have no time for yourself, creating a situation where you completely burn out! Yeah! Sounds like fun! Thanks. NOT!
This is something that you will need to quickly un-learn if you are to have any shot at true happiness at all. It’s called self-love and it’s incredible. Basically, I make sure that my cup is full first, so that in return I can front up to my children, my lover, my friends and my family as the best version of me. It then creates a ripple effect and begins to rub off onto others. I lead by example and I want to leave someone’s presence feeling totally lit up and full of life. I also want them to leave my presence with a sense of pure love and happiness.
Another terrible and petty trait of the guilts is answering the phone. I have had people right in front of me answer a call out of pure guilt, even when they don’t want to talk at all! Not because they don’t like the person, but simply because they don’t feel like talking on the phone at that particular time! Gosh! I literally will not pick up if I don’t feel like talking and I will actually message and tell them that I am just getting some solitude in and I will call them when I feel up to it. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong ( in this day and age it can be easy to assume that) nor does it mean that I don’t like you. Chances are I bloody love you if you’re calling me! You are one of my people and you should know and understand that. It’s not about feeling bad, it’s about putting healthy boundaries in place.
If you feel you may be holding on to guilt or letting someone else control your emotions, it’s time to take your life into your own hands and regain your power. Have control over your emotions and start putting healthy boundaries in place – own and live your truth. Forgive yourself and forgive others, instead of shrinking yourself and others. Help them rise up. It’s all just lessons! Nobody is perfect, and perfect is boring! What even is perfect? Because I seriously don’t even think it exists.
Stand tall and know that you learnt that lesson and you no longer need to suffer. It’s a new day, my love, and you are missing out! Free yourself from that entrapment and move on.
You are wonderful and you are loved.