An Inside Story 33
STRANGE isn’t it, how our mind works? We have this ridiculous tendency to saddle ourselves with self imposed yokes of responsibility for any wrong that we believe we have inflicted on another (whether those others are aware of it or not) and no matter if it’s real or imagined this can bring about deep feelings of guilt.
Guilt can result from not saying or doing the right thing to another, or falsely accepting responsibility for someone else’s misfortune or problem. After the event we suffer feelings of loss and shame for not having said something to or done enough for someone who is usually no longer available for us to apologize to.
Guilt makes us become over conscientious, we strive to ‘right’ the situation. We ‘over give’ of ourselves. We are willing to do anything in an attempt to make everyone happy. We fret over every action we take as to its possible negative consequence to others, even if this means that we must ignore our own needs and wants.
Guilt requires the past to be able to function. The anguish of guilt is the result of what we have perceived to have done to someone else in the past. The incident that caused the guilt no longer exists, it is gone, it is part of what used to be, but our mind cannot let it go.
We judge ourselves harshly, we feel remorse for our perceived misdeeds, then we dwell on it constantly, causing ourselves unnecessary torment, for which we continue to suffer.
Guilt is an unconscious negative emotion that lives in past memories. We simply cannot be guilty in the present moment. We have to dwell on the memory of that incident to feel guilt. If truth be known, the person that we feel guilty of wronging has moved on and forgotten the incident altogether – if they ever remembered it at all – and yet we cling to the pain.
It invades our mind like a cancer. All of this guilt is within our own mind, not out there or in the other person. What’s done is done, we must learn to live in the present moment. If we can do that, the sickness of guilt will be miraculously cured…
Dan’s Quote: “Guilt is an emotional weapon which we use to inflict self harm”- DJB