SIX THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM GUILT

Many people think that guilt is a natural experience. It is a familiar experience, but it is not healthy or productive. It serves no constructive purpose. How can that be? Here are six things to think about the next time you are feeling guilty:

  1. Guilt comes from fear. Your spiritual growth requires challenging fear and cultivating love. Holding onto your thoughts and feeling of guilt will not support you or anyone else. They prevent you from living in love, creating in love, and enjoying yourself in love.
  2. Guilt impairs your ability to learn from your experiences. When you see something that you could have done differently, or wish you had done differently, remember how you could have spoken or acted in love instead of fear so that you can apply what you have learned next time (not to make yourself feel more guilty). Your experiences are designed to inform, support, and benefit you, not cause you to contract into fear and remorse.
  3. Guilt is an experience of a frightened part of your personality, just as the actions that you regret came from a frightened part of your personality. Following fear with fear moves you in the opposite direction that your spiritual development requires, which is toward love.
  4. Guilt keeps you from being honest with others and yourself. You cannot cause emotional pain in another person. You can trigger emotional pain in someone else, but the pain that is triggered comes from inside them (not from you). It is an opportunity for them to learn about themselves. Your actions are your responsibility. If they come from fear rather than love, they will create painful consequences for you.
  5. The relationship between guilt and forgiveness may surprise you. Guilt is actually a twisted or manipulative way of seeking forgiveness. It is the belief that if you inflict suffering on yourself for your choices, another will forgive you for them. This is the perspective of the frightened part of your personality that feels guilty.
  6. You cannot give the gifts that your soul wants you to give while you are feeling guilty. Your gift may be to raise a family, create a new kind of business, write books, dance, or any of countless things. Whatever it is, it will fulfill you as you give it and lead you to your next gifts. It will bring you joy. You cannot give any of your gifts while you are caught in fear – for example, anger, jealousy, despair, superiority, inferiority, and guilt.
  7. Love,

    Gary

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8 comments on “SIX THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM GUILT”

  1. KimMoxie says:

    Due to years of conditioning, guilt was my Mr. Ruler. It measured the things I did and said and avoidance of it was the single most driving force in my life. Historically, I’d have to work very hard at getting to work on time, paying bills and keeping my independence. Running ever so fast to keep ahead of the guilt is such an exhausting task. Today I feel differently. Today I can say STOP and I can pick up my copy of ACIM and be reminded that I am truly perfect and don’t have to drop what I’m doing to snap to guilt’s orders. I may end up living in a box under a bridge because the world just isn’t ready for this guilt quitter. The world wants to keep me guilty and afraid.

  2. Carol Flack says:

    Dear Gary,

    I feel grateful that I took the courage to send you the birthday wish creative writing that came to me spontaneously. Choosing to open that door to my creativity has supported me in many ways. One of which is a creative writing group that I have joined. I love our sharing and assignments. This is broadening my horizons in more ways than I could ever have imagined.

    Love, Carol Ann

  3. truthtalker says:

    My guilt stems not from wishing I would have done things differently but rather, from other people disapproving of the conscious choices I made. Their judgment automatically triggers feelings of guilt when, deep down I feel wonderful for the choices I made. Yes, I so easily give my power away and I need to learn how to be unaffected by the opinions of others. Fortunately their opinions don’t stop me from being me, but alll this guilt is not good for me. Since I live a life quite different from the norm, I am often judged and therefore must develop whatever is needed to avoid this form of guilt.

  4. SS47 says:

    I’ve been in a real bad place mentally/spiritually in that I find myself totally alone with no one who thinks about me enough to communicate with me in any way. I’ve had some spiritual, not religious, awakening in my life to know that there are other “realities” and higher planes of perceiving things like Gary writes about in his book but I find myself disconnected from everyone out of rejection, abandonment, even people who actually try to hurt me psychologically. I’ve read a lot and have had at least one wonderful experience in my 30’s that I know what Gary is writing about. I feel a need to be connected with real live people to be loving caring “friends” to do and be with and there is no one around for me at all. I’m very bright, have 2 college degrees, but not a typical geek type and I’m not an analytical type and don’t see myself above anyone but mostly below everyone.

    One of my favorite books is ILLUSIONS by Richard Bach. I read it the 1st time when I had the wonderful awakening experience I referred to above that slipped away from over time. I know he was either inspired by similar experiences or he was just a very imaginative writer. I’ve read Carlos Castinada’s A Separate Reality and know through these type books that Gary is right on.

  5. Astral11 says:

    A few years ago I had a spiritual awakening. A woman came to me in a dream said to me, “I am so glad you are here. What do you want to know?” I said, “Everything.”
    Well that really opened up the floodgates for such an overwhelming influx of new information and experiences, including Gary’s book, Seat of the Soul, to come into my life that I was inexorably changed.
    It was the catalyst for many major life changes, including a very painful divorce that plunged me into a “dark night” phase of my life.
    It was during those days that I began making tentative steps towards finding my authentic self, something that I had not done since I was a teenager.
    I experienced an extreme amount of guilt over my choices, even though my newfound knowledge led me in that direction and I KNEW it was the right thing for me to do. Everything I had known and held as sacred I had examined and a major amount of that “everything” I began to realize was not part of any authentic path, at least not for me.
    To break away from my choices with regards to my marriage, to leave my partner, to disrupt my family and to dissapoint those that were my only support in this world by rejecting their version of religion (oh yes, I got the full meal deal when I signed up for this adventure!) left me searching for comfort in the midst of a guilt that was at sometimes overwhelming.
    I am a recovered addict to guilt! How did I recover? First of all, by creating for myself, out of my brokenness, an environment where I could be the person that I dreamed of becoming, to show up with all my scars and wrinkles and have the people with which I had surrounded myself still smile and applaud! By accepting myself as a divine daughter of the Creator, and most of all, by giving to others that which I wished most fervently for myself – love and joy and peace.
    I truly believe that guilt had manifested itself as a dis-ease in my body. I had to find a way to recover from this physical aspect of internalizing feelings of guilt, and I did that by, once again, loving myself through it. And I am healed. Real magic.
    What is real, and what can heal? Love can. Of others, but most of all, of self. You cannot give away what you do not have to give. Once you realize that within yourself resides a most glorious being with an elegance of spirit, and that the love that is part of your DNA can transcend and transmute anything, you will realize your true worth, and realize that guilt is simply the illusion that there you have done something, to someone at sometime that was displeasing or wrong. You are perfect and the world needs your perfection. Namaste . . . .

  6. lorisanto says:

    Wonderful article here on guilt. How do I go about freeing myself from overwhelming feelings of guilt? My gifts are urgently wanting to burst thru as my life, yet I am consistently held back by an overwhelming sense of inferiority and despair as a people-pleaser. I’m not even sure anymore who I think I’m trying to please, but this old part of me seem so tenacious, and I don’t know how else to behave! Everything around me is literally coming apart at the seams, including my body, as I am full of hives, welts, like a burning and toxic sensation occurring all throughout my body from the stress of feeling caught in this old part of myself; knowing full well ‘mentally’ what needs to shift, yet I don’t know how to physically shift! Speaking from my own integrity and no longer crouching down to appease everyone is much more challenging for me than I ever imagined. I’m 53 years old, and I’m amazed at how much work this is for me to release. Any feedback would be deeply appreciated and welcome! I LOVE this site… and I’m so grateful to be here. Love, Lori

    1. Carol Flack says:

      I have heard Gary share that the longest Journey for a soul is from their head to their heart. Is it possible that you are speaking from a story that you have created in your head? If so, what would you say if you were to speak from your history with the intention to create from love.

  7. Sue W says:

    Dear Gary,
    Thanks for posting on guilt. It’s been on my mind. I resonate with every point except for #5 -guilt and forgiveness intertwining. Not sure if I understand this fully… Say that I feel guilty about having a good life because my parents “suffered for me” and I feel compelled to take care of them (mentally etc). Am I, then, seeking the parents’ forgiveness for having a good life?

    There is something about everyone should suffer together in my family -so what’s my fear? That I am happy and they are not = I am a traitor? Thanks.

    Sue

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