Let Go of Guilt
Feelings of guilt comes from limiting beliefs and judgments. To experience growth, we must learn to listen to our own inner wisdom instead of guilt.
Do you often feel like there’s something you should be doing? Or like there’s something you should not have done?
This is a common feeling, and it never feels good.
Where is this feeling coming from? Why do we get “The Shoulds”?
This uncomfortable feeling comes from either placing a judgment on something or accepting someone else’s judgment as your own. When you agree to something primarily on the basis of a “should”, you’re letting guilt be your motivation.
Is guilt necessary? Is guilt a good thing? No, it is simply the result of misunderstandings over “right and wrong”. If you want to get rid of guilt, you have to let go of dualistic morality. Another way of putting this is to stop believing in good and evil. Things simply are. Labeling people, places, and events as “good” or “bad” is a rule of thumb that no longer has a place in human consciousness.
This will not make you into a Hitler overnight, quite the contrary. It means that you trust only your own wisdom to tell you what is the right course of action in the moment.
Whenever you feel old judgments guiding your actions, recognize them as such and listen to your inner voice instead. Such labels are limiting and any system of morality based on rules will be incomplete.
So where does guilt come from? Most of it comes from our early childhood, when we absorbed our parents beliefs and judgments like sponges. This is usually a good thing as far as survival goes. You would hope that children believe in looking both ways to cross the street. But holding onto beliefs like “never trust anyone outside of your family” holds us back later in life.
Another large portion of our guilt comes from the collective moral judgments of society. Popularity is never a good measure of ultimate truth. If the whole world believes in something you know in your heart to be false, stand your ground.
Most of our strongest feelings of guilt originate over taboo subjects like sex, religion, and politics. Here you should pay special attention to feelings of guilt. Are the judgments of others affecting your happiness in the bedroom? Is the opinion of others limiting your expression of joy?
There is a way to resolve guilt that comes from feeling like you should or should not do something. As soon as the feeling arises, focus on it and ask yourself “What is the belief or judgment that is causing this feeling?” Trust whatever answers you get. Keep a questioning eye on any thought or belief that holds you back from your heart’s desires. Once you’ve identified the limiting belief, you can reverse it.
Of course, sometimes the message behind your feelings of guilt will align with what your wisdom tells you is the right thing to do. So why keep the guilt then? Just let it go. Once you start trusting your own wisdom, you will become even more sensitive to its guidance. At first you may need to analyze the possible outcomes of what you’re feeling, and you probably already do this. However, try to spend less time in your mind with anxious worry and more time in your heart feeling the truth. It’s like building a muscle, use it or lose it.
It’s also important to be aware of when your judgments are causing others to feel guilty. We are often blind to this in our own false sense of righteousness. Being “right” is never worth making another person feel wrong. True righteousness leads to feelings of peace.
So, let go of your guilt. It’s just emotional baggage you don’t need to carry around. When guilt arises, give it your full attention and ask it why it’s there. It won’t have a good answer, and you’ll be free of it. Remember that listening to guilt is a poor substitute for trusting your own inner wisdom.