Do you ever feel guilty for having too much fun or being too successful?
Do you ever feel guilty when having a rest and taking time out for yourself?
Does guilt stop you from speaking up for yourself and expressing how you feel?
Is guilt stopping you from diving to the depths of joy?
Guilt is a deep seeded emotion that secretly dictates how much joy we allow to enter our lives.
Guilt is the yardstick of how BAD we feel inside and how much joy we feel worthy of.
Guilt and joy are often directly proportional. The amount of joy you experience is related to how much guilt you carry. Drop a few bags of guilt and joy rushes in to replace it!
Sooo it's time to get up close and personal with guilt and put it under the microscope so that you can see how much it is affecting your life. Your joy depends on it! Let's go on a 'guilt trip' to master this powerful emotion.
Deeply imbedded in all of our psyches is the thought/feeling “I AM BAD!” It sits beside “I'm not good enough”, “I'm not lovable or worthy” and “I always get abandoned and rejected!”
Many of us walk around with the feeling in our gut that we are bad, so we feel we don't deserve the good things in life.
For some, the feeling of guilt inside is HUGE and they will continually sabotage their lives with self punishment.
For others it is more subtle and they will allow a certain level of happiness in and then cap it so that they don't get too happy or too successful.
Ridiculous isn't it! What mad humans we are!
Most of us were brought up within a system of praise and punishment. We learnt about what was right and wrong by being punished for bad deeds and rewarded for good deeds.
Our parents, teachers, peers, religious leaders and general society were the external guides that told us what was right and what was wrong and they dished out punishment or praise for our actions accordingly.
The emotion of guilt is our helpful and natural internal guide for determining what is right and wrong. It is the feeling we get when we go to do something mean or immediately after we have done something nasty that tells us when we have been unfair. It is like an internal punishing system that makes us feel like sh#t when we have acted unfairly.
In its purest form guilt is a powerful internal ally to help guide us in loving ways to interact with the world around us. Guilt exists as the natural contrast to guide us in expressing loving words and actions. But unfortunately while growing up we were often punished for good deeds based on the values of our society.
This sent our powerful internal gauge of guilt out of whack. Hello guilt button malfunction!
We were punished for being too sensitive, judged for being too vulnerable or emotional, we were criticised for being too successful (hello tall poppy syndrome), we were reprimanded for being too lazy and just chilling out, we are put down for being too expressive, we were told to shut up when we were being too passionate and we were penalised for being too 'selfish'!
Squish, stomp, mould! Guilt button on overload!
It is so easy to forget who we naturally are when our freedom to be wild, authentic and joyfully free was squished under a mountain of guilt for our natural actions.
“I'm bad for this, I'm bad for that, I'm bad for being who I naturally am. I'm bad for thinking what I think. I'm bad for feeling what I feel. I'm bad for saying what I said. I'm bad for looking a certain way.”
BAD BAD BAD!
On our path to awakening we are told to completely love and accept ourselves for who we are but how do we do this when we are riddled with guilt for so many of our actions?
It is time for us to recalibrate our overactive guilt meters.
Guilt is the gate keeper of joy. If guilt says you have been bad then joy is not allowed to enter the building. If you are treading on egg shells and terrified of doing or saying the wrong thing your natural joy is being gagged and tied to a chair.
So it is time to set our joy free and to allow our guilt meters to be reset to their natural levels.
6 tips to mastering guilt
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I'd love to hear your thoughts on guilt in the comments below and share the love (this article) with your tribe.
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