Guilt is a burden many of us carry by the trunk load, either because of something someone else has done to us, or something we’ve done as a consequence of someone else. It’s in our subconscious, something we’re drawn to, which is why it’s difficult to let it go.

But the message we need to give ourselves when we’re carrying guilt is that we should redress the balance. Guilt never goes away until we deal with it. There needs to be a link between guilt and apology, both are important to spiritual and emotional growth.

As children we’re taught to say sorry when we’re wrong, and some children find it hard to do. Adults find it even harder. It’s the same with guilt. When a person judges us as wrong, that person is defending his or her own emotions, in the same way we defend ourselves when we fail to apologise.

When a person chooses to judge, they’re doing it so that they don’t have to think or understand their real emotions. As our behaviour towards others puts them in touch with their own feelings, other people’s behaviour towards us will put us in touch with ours.

Guilt is linked to ego; the ego takes a knock and we fail to admit our guilt because of a bruised ego. Guilt is used as a tool to control children into believing or thinking they have to conform. Cultures, people and societies all use guilt to brainwash others into believing their path is the right path.  In effect what they really want us to do is take their path, which isn’t necessarily the right one for us.

When others pass their guilt on to us, we begin to believe we’re at fault and that’s perhaps something we need to change. It’s not our guilt. Sadly, it’s usually other people’s guilt directed at us.

25 Mar, 2011

6 thoughts on “Guilt

  1. Great post! I’m sure if we all look back at our lives objectively, we would see that guilt played a huge part in our relationships.

    I was lucky because being largely ignored until I left home at 18 I generally did what I wanted not what anyone else expected or made me feel that I should do.

    Since then I can see how others have influenced me by playing the ‘guilt card,’ but in more recent years that influence has diminished significantly and I will never let that nonsense happen again.

    1. I believe we often wake up to the realities of how others behave with us and how they make us feel as we mature through our lives.

      I feel many of us will probably choose not to deal with those feelings of guilt; because we’re afraid of the consequences that might ensue as a result of trying to bring about those changes.

  2. My mom used to guilt on me all the time and she still does to a certain extent.

    I’m tired of feeling guilty for things that are not my doing. Like my exe’s death from suicide. I used to think if I had not divorced him he would still be here.

    I realise it would have happened eventually whether I had anything to do with it or not. You’ve got good points here. I also believe people use guilt as a tactic and it’s a shame to do that.

    1. This is not unique to you Lisa. I am pleased though that you know you had nothing to do with your ex-husband committing suicide and therefore there is no need for you to feel or live with the guilt.

      I think that when someone decides to take their own life, they have already gone beyond wanting or needing help. I believe as you do that he would have gone on to do it sooner or later.

  3. I found this post to be really interesting.

    Growing up the guilt tactic was used frequently on me, by my parents. Never thought about a lot of the details surrounding guilt that you had mentioned.

    I completely agree with you in that the best path for everyone isn’t always what society thinks/wants. People should be more open to flexibility in choice.

    1. Thank you. I don’t think we ever take time to think about the guilt we carry; we just assume it happens and emotionally we move on, but I do believe it shapes us as adults and how we cope in our lives.

      Thanks for posting LeAnna.

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