How to Get Rid of Guilt: Getting Past the Illusion of ControlFeb 21, 2021
When the Mind falls silent for a time and your personal stories fall off of you, life appears very simple. You can see that you are simply a product of your attention. At that moment, you can see very clearly that almost every suffering has been a product of your willingness to participate in a story. You have left a place of Wholeness to have an experience with lack. This is not to say there aren’t people living in horrible circumstances, but if you are reading this blog, you likely have more options than you realize.
A when guilt enters the storyline of your life, it makes you feel like don’t deserve happiness. You haven’t atoned. And often your guilt is so vague and poorly defined, you can’t even figure out why you feel it. You just feel like something you are is not ok. This leads to a dangerous game with the brain because the brain is just an answer machine. If you ask your brain why you feel so guilty, it will answer whether it knows the reason or not. As we’ve discussed in other posts, it will simply shuffle through everything in your life and spit out a viable answer. If you atone for that answer, the guilt remains. You pull the lever again and the brain spits out yet another answer. But none of this is real. I’m going to tell you right now why you feel guilty. You may not believe it at first, but if you continue to ponder it, you will come to see it is fairly indisputable.
You feel guilty because you have been infected with the erroneous belief that you have absolute control over yourself and your response to life.
You believe you are running the show, only poorly. But let’s really look at this. You say you should be able to control everything about yourself, but you don’t. Nobody does. Why? If life is that simple, why isn’t everyone just becoming the person they wish to become and acting according to what they know is right?
The answer: Because it takes more than just knowing what you should do to incite a consistent change in action. The action itself has to be in alignment with your deepest wants and desires and this is where the process has been taken out of your hands.
You don’t control what you want. You have never controlled that. You have only acted upon it or push against it, but you have never really controlled it. What you want is a product of your genetics, your string of life experiences, your learned lessons, and your environmental programming. Until you come to a place where your desires lead to you want to work directly on changing your desires, you simply have not stumbled into a system where control is one of your options. And even then, you didn’t choose it. You just interacted with something that woke up that desire in you.
No matter how egregious the act, you are committing it because you believe it is giving you something you want and you have learned to value that more than you have learned to value what you consider to be correct behavior. And the people who refrain from the act do not do so because it is wrong. They do so because their system of wants and desires permits it. In other words, it is literally easier for them.
I’m not saying people are wrong to look at you cross-eyed for bad behavior, but they cannot really say it is your fault. You are following the laws of nature, which are constantly evolving you. And someday, in your wakefulness, you will stumble upon a realization that moves you to a higher desire.
So take a breath and just realize you are part of a process. You didn’t ask to be challenged in this way and you are doing your best. If you could do better, you would. If you could wield your wants in better directions, you would. And judging yourself and everyone around you for the things we can’t help has never once fixed the problem. Guilt has never solved anything long-term. Acceptance has.
Acceptance of yourself and acceptance from others is the cleanest road forward because it lifts the stress and the pain off a person so they can comfortably open their eyes and see new options.
For the guilty person: You need to accept that you did what you were born to do and what you were trained to do according to your level of knowledge and system of desires at that time. Let go of your guilt so you can comfortably open your eyes to the people around you who maybe know a better way through life. EFT can help with this. Click here for a free guide to using EFT to manage anxiety.
If you are judging others: It is time to acknowledge that this was out of their hands. You also need to acknowledge that, if you know a better way, but harbor hostility for the “guilty”, you are an inseparable part of the problem. Why? Because they need to be able to interact with you to even begin the process of becoming more like you. If you can’t stop judging, then you belong in the paragraph above. And in reality, we all vacillate between both these paragraphs. Criminalizing this process doesn’t help.
It is time for us all to grow up. This human opportunity is challenging enough. We need to let ourselves off the hook a bit and let each other off the hook while we’re at it. I promise you, we will all be happier for doing it.