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SIX THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM GUILT

SIX THINGS YOU CAN LEARN FROM GUILT

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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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Love.
Linda & Gary
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PULLING THE ROOT OF VIOLENCE

PULLING THE ROOT OF VIOLENCE

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The deaths of the children and adults who tried to protect them in the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut renewed the debate about how to prevent this kind of violence. How to prevent yet more unpredictable killings in more schools, theaters, and malls by more unpredictable suicidal murders. Some say more gun control. Some say more school security. Some say more care for the mentally ill. Others say our culture of violence – violent movies, violent games, violent language – is the cause. Almost no one says, “Look inside ourselves.”

The origin of the violence that erupted in Newtown is in us. When I look for it in me, I always find it. If you look for it, you will find it in you, too. Kindness and cruelty, patience and impatience, forgiveness and revenge live in each of us. Which will we choose? We answer this question each moment whether or not we are aware of it. Acting with cruelty (for example, in anger), with impatience (for example, in superiority), or revenge (for example, in inferiority) creates only emotional or physical violence and destruction. What is in you is in the world. When you change yourself, you change the world. The choices you make about yourself are important. They create wars, genocides, slavery, and poverty or harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. If you want to change the world, you must change yourself. Every experience offers an opportunity, including your experiences of the violence in Newtown.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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HUMBLENESS

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The characteristics of an authentically empowered personality are humbleness, clarity, forgiveness, and Love. Love is the big one. Each time you have the courage to feel the sensations beneath the impulse to shout in anger, withdraw in jealousy, judge or disdain, or need to please, for example, and instead of acting on it, act from the healthiest part of yourself that you can access – even if that means simply remaining motionless and silent with a good intention for the person or people you are with, you create authentic power. The more you create authentic power, the more the characteristics of authentic power become your characteristics, and the more meaning, purpose, and joy enter your life.

This Spring through the beginning of Summer, I am going to explore each of the characteristics of an authentically empowered personality in a different article. This month I am beginning with characteristic of authentic power that few people have thought about – humbleness. What do you think it is, really? What do you think it is not, really? And last, why do you think it would be good to develop humbleness?

A humble person walks in a familiar world. He or she sees friends everywhere he or she looks, wherever he or she goes, with whomever he or she meets. His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. He or she sees the attributes of people around him or her – big body, small body, strong body, weak body, quick intellect, slow intellect, yellow skin, brown skin, male or female, young or old – and on and on – as costumes. He or she does not believe that anyone will change this costume at the end of the day, but he or she also knows that everyone will leave it behind at the end of a lifetime. Ashes will return to ashes, and dust will return to dust. That is the way it is with costumes. They do not last forever. They do not even last very long – a century at best and much less for most people. The soul is a different story. The soul is immortal.

The next time you feel less than someone else, inadequate, or inferior, remember that “humbleness” doesn’t have anything to do with those experiences any more than it means lowering yourself to make a connection. There are no lower levels to a humble person. There are no higher levels, either. There are only souls. There is only love. Humbleness is one of the great gifts of authentic power – and you give it to yourself.

Next month, I will look at “Clarity.” It might surprise you, too.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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FORGIVENESS AND FREEDOM

FORGIVENESS AND FREEDOM

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The idea that forgiveness is something you do for someone else results from the perception of power as the ability to manipulate and control. The unconscious intention behind not forgiving is to cause pain in someone you feel caused pain in you, and thereby alter his or her behavior. This never works because the origins of your emotional pain are inside you. When you choose not to forgive, you inflict pain upon yourself. Not forgiving is like trying to cause someone else pain by breaking your fingers. You are the one who is hurting when you do not forgive. There is nothing healing, nurturing, or even slightly positive about not forgiving.

Not forgiving is holding someone else responsible for your experiences. The emotional pains that you feel can be created only by parts of your own personality, not parts of someone else’s personality. Other people can activate these parts of your personality, such as the part that will not forgive. They can treat you cruelly, abuse you, even torture you, but only parts of your own personality can create your emotional experiences, including your painful emotional experiences. The longer you blame others or circumstances for these experiences, the longer you experience them.

Forgiving is something that you do for yourself. When you forgive, you stop holding others responsible for your emotional experiences. You step into a position of power because you cannot control others, but you can choose within yourself between the parts of your personality that create emotional pain and the parts that create experiences of gratitude, appreciation, contentment, and joy. Sometimes the pain is so great that an individual cannot find the strength to forgive. In these times, it is enough that she or he pray for the elevated perception, the Light, the Grace, to forgive. It will come.

In all cases, the healing dynamic of forgiveness requires you to look inside yourself instead of outside yourself for the causes of your emotional pain, and challenge them by not acting on their justified anger and righteous rigidity and acting instead from the most healthy and wholesome parts of your personality that you can access in that moment. Forgiving requires you to change yourself for the better instead of blaming. It requires you to heal. Forgiving is consciously choosing to leave behind the prisons and torments of your fears. It is also the creation of authentic power.

Love.
Linda & Gary