Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Guilt and Forgiveness

Erin Pavlina wrote an excellent article regarding the concept of self-forgiveness, and how many people can easily forgive others for their trespasses, but are unable or unwilling to extend the same courtesy to themselves. It details the story of an intuitive reading she was having with one of her sitters, where the sitter had such overwhelming grief over the "failure" of her business and the perceived hurt she had inflicted upon her husband and kids. It was with Erin's help that she was able to make the jump in logic from her ability to forgive others and extend it to herself.

Guilt and forgiveness awareness is especially important with those who deal with energy work, spirit work, or counseling of any sort. These professions / interests have a high exposure to this kind of energy, and we must remain diligent in keeping ourselves clean of these influences so that we may focus more of our energy on our personal, interpersonal, and societal missions.

The Nature of Guilt

We're often taught that if we violate a basic tenet or promise, we should feel guilty as a result. In fact, the definition of guilt is the fact of having committed a breach of conduct, especially laws. Another use of the word is the state of mind following committing a breach of conduct, which may be imagined, and sparking and fueling a feeling of inadequacy, of feeling less of a person for committing the offense. Sometimes the guilt is so strong, especially in those who are in depression and/or low energy states, that it cripples their day to day life.

When we feel this guilt, no matter how big or small, it's a drain and misdirection of personal power. Thoughts of guilt take the place of productive thoughts, guilty energy misaligns and replaces healthy energy in our bodies. It's in our best interests to alleviate these feelings so that we can reclaim our energy and our life's purpose - if we let the guilty feelings continue, it's a manifestation of our own thoughts and energy, so why let yourself use your own energy to hinder your life?

Guilt as a Consequence

It's commonly believed that guilt is one of the inherent consequences of doing a perceived wrong - that only psychopaths have no guilt for what they do in their lives. Psychopaths will deny what they've done is wrong, and will rationalize, deny, or shift blame.

With that caveat being said, the feeling of guilt in itself is not a consequence of violating a tenet. For example, if I'm trying to lose weight, and I decide that I want to eat a double bacon cheeseburger and a large coke, the logical consequence - the basic outcome - is that I've consumed more calories in one sitting than a dieting metabolism would support. This would make my calories a net gain for the day, which will be stored in my body, therefore increasing my weight. These are concrete consequences, proven by scientists, not to mention anyone that's tried losing a couple pounds.

Some people that would go and consume this type of meal would feel guilty over their choice in diet - usually due to a realization that it's contrary to a personal goal that they hold important. Other people eat this - and many more food products - during the day while feeling no remorse for their daily diet.

There's a third group - those that are following a diet regimen, make the cheeseburger/soda slip, but don't feel the guilt over what they have done. Sometimes it's because they've given up on their mission, but there's a select few that have this outcome because they've realized that guilt isn't part of the logical, concrete consequence of their decision, and that their energy and vibration is better spent forgiving themselves and looking forward to the next day, when they can continue with improving their lives.

Guilt isn't a logical, basic consequence - it's something additional that we put on ourselves, when we can better use that energy in positive ways.

Grounding and Self Forgiveness

Once we've identified that guilt isn't an inherent consequence, we can start diffusing the feeling and reclaim our lost energy. Try these to help the process:

- Those practiced in energy work can simply ground, with emphasis on letting go of the harmful energy and refueling from the elements, deep within the earth. Cleansing rituals can help with this as well, such as a shower, imagining the feelings washing off with the water and going down the drain.

- Meditate on the feelings - identify that they're not connected to the original offense, connect with your higher self, spirit guides or deities for more understanding, do an intuitive exercise to gain clarity into the situation.

- Forgive yourself as you would forgive another. Do a visualization exercise where you are talking to yourself, hearing about the issues that you're dealing with, and ask for forgiveness for what has transpired. Do you find it easier to forgive yourself if you imagine yourself as another person? Imagine yourself 10 years from now, older and wiser in your ways, forgiving your younger self for their trespasses and the issues that they consider so overwhelming.

Don't Take Life Too Seriously

When all is said and done, life is about loving, learning, growing, and leaving a legacy. Why consciously allow guilt to hold you back from these things? Why use your own power against you? Life's too short to take it too seriously, lighten up on your standards and how you judge yourself so that you may use your time, effort, energy and love to the best possible use.

You deserve it.

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