I wanted to have a look at the aspect of Guilt – a truly spiritually disempowering strategy if ever there was one. Like the words of the song ‘I’m never gonna dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm…’ guilt strips away every atom of self-belief that we may have had and leaves us with nothing.
And yet something that is so prevalent; we have an amazing capacity to feel (and be made to feel) guilt don’t we? It is a burden we almost gratefully accept as we love our ability to constantly be our own judger and punisher.
Carrying the burden of guilt enables us to fulfil that role so absolutely wonderfully.
Guilt is one of those negative emotions that really serves no positive purpose at all. If we think about anger, we can at least acknowledge that being angry and expressing anger enables an aspect of release even if it is not in the way that might best serve ourselves or our spirit. Anger touches our emotions with strength and passion even if misplaced; guilt buries them.
Despair and sadness can take us deep into the depth of our emotions enabling a connection, and understanding of ourselves at our darker levels and whilst difficult and painful, they do bring lessons and growth within themselves.
Guilt however is that devil in the darkness that constantly replays in our minds, circling like a lead weight that gets stronger with each circuit, eventually weighing us down so that the light of our spirit is all but extinguished by the ever increasing weight that we allow ourselves to carry.
And I say allow because guilt can only survive if we allow it to. Other people’s words or actions may be designed to start that flicker of guilt but it can only grow to a burden beyond hope if we allow it to. And of course, not all of our guilt is instigated by another, often we are only too happy to instigate it ourselves. And we have to ask ourselves why?…that is a question for us all in any given circumstance and I am sure there are many reasons but the one that jumps out at me as I write this is that one of preferring to allow ourselves to feel undeserving because that is easier than standing in our power and allowing the consequences that might bring!
Guilt is a crippling emotion. It circles like a predator that never actually catches or finishes off its prey. It serves no purpose whatsoever other than to hold us in a circling motion, preventing us from moving forward. It is the plane that never lands but constantly circles – never reaching its destination, circling until it runs out of fuel and crash lands. We might be lucky; we might survive the landing with only minor injuries. Then again, we might not.
Guilt arises through so many different situations and experiences – with children, friends, partners, work. Saying ‘No’, doing what you want to above someone else’s desires, what you say or do, how you say it or do it to name but a few.
And I realise I lie as I say it serves no purpose – it does. How, where and why we feel guilt does tell us where we are allowing our spirit to be diminished. Looking at how and why we feel guilt can advise us of where we are not being true to ourselves; where we are not allowing the balance between giving (to others, be it time or anything else) and receiving (to ourselves).
Of course, we have the aspect of compromise; doing what we want to all of the time does not support the flow of universal energy and there is joy in making someone we love happy or contentment and ease by helping with workload. There is peace by saying what needs to be said.
Guilt is also important as its counterpart in the spiritual arena is forgiveness – a true spiritual strategy to light your way. Forgiveness is the lighthouse guiding you in on a dark stormy night to safe harbour.
Forgiveness is that candle of your spirit that you actively light and watch glow.
Guilt takes us round in circles as we wonder if we should have done, said, been different. The scenario plays around in our head; our heart pounds as the emotion batters us and that spark of hope, belief, faith is extinguished.
Forgiveness is the action that enables us to move on.
Whether we forgive ourselves for what was said or done, or the way it was said or done, for example. Or whether we forgive another or ask forgiveness from another, forgiveness is the light that illuminates the darkness of guilt and eradicates it shadow.
By forgiving ourselves or others, we allow our needs and our desires to be recognised by our spirit. We allow our spirit to know that we are sorry but that we are deserving of love and support and that we are as important as any other being on the planet. By giving forgiveness we allow our light to shine as brightly as the brightest star in the sky and we enable the dry bed of the universal river to fill once more with the life giving elixir of hope.
So perhaps guilt does have a purpose by enabling us to recognise, need and work with the power of forgiveness.
Let’s pray that we reach out for it before that lead weight of guilt becomes a tonne too much for our broad emotive human shoulders to bear.