Hi beautiful people,
Let’s talk about guilt! Or would you rather not? I don’t blame you, it’s a weird old emotion. Most of us would rather not experience it – so we say……but did you know that neuroscience research shows that our brains actually reward us for feeling guilt. So, apparently, we do get something out of guilt. Also, in my experience as a life mentor, many of us use guilt in a positive way; we are motivated by guilt or the fear of it, to make ourselves work harder, never be late, stay faithful, or any other number of things.
Some of us take this one step further and use guilt to do and say whatever we want, anytime. How many times have you ‘rewarded’ yourself with a ‘naughty’ slice of cheesecake, enjoyed every last crumb – and then felt guilty? The whole scenario is nuts! If you want cheesecake – have it!
On the other hand, many cultures and societies use guilt to modify behaviour. So, many of us have never really exercised our free will without guilt getting in the way. Either we don’t do what we want because we would feel too guilty, or we do do what we want and feel really, really guilty! Either way, guilt is not so glorious.
Here’s how to handle the guilt, so you stay a morally acceptable human being, motivated to reach your potential, and in full command of your own free will.
Firstly, know that guilt is a wasted emotion; it doesn’t help anyone.
Secondly, if you did or said something you regret, be accountable, learn from it, treat yourself with compassion, forgive yourself and if need be, apologise – and then move on. Accept that you will probably make mistakes in the future which you can also learn from, but you can also show self-compassion and forgive yourself.
Then, ask yourself, ‘Rather than guilt, what would I like to be motivated by?’ Personally, I choose to be motivated by self-love, reaching my potential and love for others.
Lastly, notice your use of negative language, (‘naughty’ cheesecake?!), and consciously change it; this habit is easily shifted.
Ready to go? Would you like to know it is possible and how to live without guilt?
You are glorious,
I love you, humanity