Guilt differs from Shame because we feel that we have done something wrong, not that we are wrong. Feeling guilt is like withholding a soul-crushing secret that eats us from the inside. We feel like sinners and are afraid to get punished. If the guilt is intense, it flips inside us, and we blame others for the things we feel guilty about.
30 out of 1000
To live from guilt is to be in a mode where we either feel blamed or a need to blame others. Everyone is out to get us, and we see and judge others for their actions. We reiterate our mistakes repeatedly in our minds, and a minor thing can become a massive obstacle. Even if an apology is accepted, we still feel guilt and think about if we could've done something different.
Blame, rage, remorse, Regret
Everything we do is wrong, and if there is a God/higher power, he is punishing us for our wrongdoing.
We want to destroy or be destroyed. To obliterate or be obliterated. There is a war inside us, and we want to end it by destroying what is near us.
It's my fault. It's their fault. I am to blame. Everything should be destroyed.
Rate of happiness
Right or Wrong, good or bad. Punish or be punished.
How it feels
Guilt differs from Shame because we feel that we have done something wrong, not that we are wrong. Feeling guilt is like withholding a soul-crushing secret that eats us from the inside. We feel like sinners and are afraid to get punished. If the guilt is intense, it flips inside us, and we blame others for what we feel guilty about.
We avoid speaking our truth and hide away from getting confronted about our wrongdoing. We make up excuses for our lies, and sometimes it feels like our whole life is one big lie. And it is no longer possible to keep track of all the lies we've told to keep our secrets safe.
Blaming others will only backfire on us. Because the traits, actions, and inactions we blame others for are what we don't like about ourselves.
Guilt will disappear when we finally decide to tell the truth and come clean. And by just admitting to ourselves what we've done on a piece of paper makes much difference.
Origins of Guilt
Dr. Hawkins observed that guilt often originates from cultural, societal, familial, or religious expectations. It's deeply rooted in the belief system of what is"right" and "wrong," shaped by upbringing, traditions, and societal norms. Our past actions, especially those that don't align with these established norms, become a breeding ground for guilt.
Recognizing the Triggers
Guilt isn't just a static emotion; it's often triggered by external events or internal thoughts. For Hawkins, these triggers might include recalling past mistakes, encountering persons we've wronged, or being reminded of our transgressions through media or conversations. Recognizing these triggers is the first step in addressing the root of guilt and initiating the healing process.
Guilt and Its Impact on Health
According to Hawkins, prolonged guilt can have severe physical and mental health repercussions. It can lead to anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even manifest physically as headaches, stomach issues, or more severe health problems. The constant stress of guilt can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to diseases.
Moving Beyond Guilt
Dr. Hawkins suggested several ways to transcend guilt:
Recognize and accept the emotion without judgment. Understand that feeling guilty is part of the human experience, and it's okay to feel this way.
This doesn't only mean forgiving others but, more importantly, forgiving oneself. Guilt is often tied to our inability to let go of past mistakes. By forgiving ourselves, we free ourselves from the chains of guilt.
3. Seek Counseling:
If the guilt is overwhelming, seeking professional help or counseling can provide an outside perspective and coping techniques.
4. Spiritual Practices:
Dr. Hawkins was a strong proponent of spiritual practices like meditation and prayer. Engaging in these can help ground oneself, leading to inner peace and resolution.
If possible and appropriate, making amends for past wrongs can be a direct way to address and alleviate guilt.
By understanding the nature of guilt, its origins, and triggers, and by employing strategies to overcome it, one can move towards a life of greater peace and freedom.