"People may not forgive us for what we have done, but at least we can forgive ourselves"
We can experience guilt when we are in judgement of ourselves for believing that we have done something wrong to others. This is much like the negative state of blame, but rather it is directed inwards.
I.e. We can experience guilt after accidently breaking our parent's car.
I.e. We can experience guilt when the advice that we gave to our friends turns out to be a bad one.
I.e. We can experience Guilt when we live happily while everyone around us is living poorly.
The feeling of guilt can be a strong and intense feeling as if someone is stabbing away at our heart. Looking within, it is then we discover that we are the one doing the stabbing.
Guilt In Depth
Guilt is a Negative State of Mind.
Most of us are only aware of this state when it is in the extremes and not so much when it is subtle. When one has developed enough sensitivity and self-awareness what one will realize is that Guilt/Self-Judgement can even be experienced in small doses and in any moment. For instance when we have just woken up from bed or when we are just walking on the road. So it's important to develop Self-Awareness so we can be aware of how much the negative state of guilt can eat away at our happiness.
From a spiritual perspective, the Experience of Guilt often happens when the direction of Love is in excess outwards and in a lack inwards. The experience of Guilt thus can be said to be a sign from within that is telling us that we are not loving ourselves enough. Thus to re-balance the direction of Love will require one to develop Self-Love/Forgiveness.
And as we look deeper into why we cannot simply accept ourselves for whatever we have done what we will discover are the attachment towards the Ideas of what is right and what is wrong i.e. how we should be.
Importance Of Addressing Guilt
To address Guilt, we first have to develop the intention to address it. It can be easy to lack such intentions because society often promotes the idea that it's a good thing to experience guilt especially if one has done something wrong. Tus let us look at the Negative Impacts that Guilt can have upon our life to develop this intention naturally.
When we experience Guilt, it is a sign that we are not happy with the current situation, that we are not happy with ourselves. This can not only eat away at our Happiness but also our Physical Health. As the body and emotions are interconnected, the excess of Guilt can create tremendous stress on the Heart.
To develop the intention to address Guilt, one must first develop the understanding that it is Okay to forgive oneself, to let go of self-judgement when one does something wrong.
And it will be hard for The Self who has an excess of love outwards to be convinced of this. And often this is because The Self will carry the belief that it is necessary” to Self-Judge to improve oneself and so that it can do better and not make the same mistakes again.
But life experiences will eventually open one’s eyes to see that self-improvement only requires one to have the intention to improve and Self-Judgement is not necessary.
In fact Self-Judgement can block greatly one’s journey of Self-Improvement.
Do you often think that you are the one that is wrong?
Guilt can also greatly block the development of Knowing of The Self. Because when we carry guilt, we can start to try to live up playing a role which lives up to the expectations of what everyone else expects of us and live in a way to please everyone – leading us to wear masks and forget who we really are.
Also, when we live with the tendancy to feel guilty all the time, we can start to subconsciously find things in life to justify for us to experience that negative state of mind. For instance, instead of letting go of the experience of guilt, we can begin to look for reasons for us to maintain that state of guilt in whatever we did wrong. That is why the state of guilt can often be left unaddressed especially by the Selves who don't love themselves enough.
Often we can try to escape the feeling of guilt by not doing the possible things that can make us feel guilty. I.e. to not lend our friend our cars when we don't want to. But this kind of solution will always be a temporary one because when the same thing happens again the suffering state of guilt will surface again.
And then putting this on repeat we will simply end up helping everyone who ask for help everytime we experience guilt - And this can lead one to live a very exhausting life.
Do you often have problems saying no to people?
To truly address guilt we have to go inwards to discover the Deeper Cause of Guilt which are the Negative Ideas so that we know what we are really dealing with, what we really need to work on to release the negative state of guilt.
Path Of Creator
Guilt In Relation To The Path Of Creator
As we look inwards to discover the deeper Cause of Guilt what we will discover is Self-Judgement driven by the Ideas of Right and Wrong.
And in Guilt particularly, these Ideas are usually driven by the Ideas concerning “Responsibility”
Thus the spiritual lessons that one will go through in transforming these Negative Ideas will involve the re-defining of what Responsibility really. For instance, the state of Guilt can be experienced when we believe that we are “”Responsible” for other people’s Happiness. See Catalyst -Responsibility.
And when we become attached to this Idea, it can generate a great deal of Suffering and Guilt because we can never guarantee people’s happiness. What life experiences will eventually push us to realize is that people can never be truly happy unless they wish to be happy and work and put in their own effort towards it.
When we try to address our “Guilt” by always trying to make other people happy or trying our best to meet expectations from them it will never benefit us or them. From a spiritual perspective, it is up to one’s responsibility to work on one’s own suffering.
In terms of Guilt experienced in relation to past acts, life experiences will always push us forward to realize that it is pointless to Self-Judge the acts that one has done in the past because there is no way to change the past unless we go through a time machine. The journey will take us to realize that we can only love as far as we see, so all the things we did in the past we in fact did the best we could in the mental maturity we had at the time.
So realize that the Present Self will always be more mature than the Past-Self so it is pointless to always go back in time to criticize ourselves for not being as mature and wise as we are now.
Realize that people may not forgive us for what we have done.
But at least, we can forgive ourselves.
The destination is to do things not out of guilt but out of love.
Develop Experienced Knowledge
Whenever you experience Guilt, simply ask yourself the question,
“What is it that I cannot Accept about myself?”
Then ask yourself another question,
“Why can I not accept that part about myself?
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
In the Creator’s Meditation, if you experience wandering thoughts to do with guilt, by simply letting them come and letting them go, you are in fact developing Self-Acceptance because you are not allowing yourself to dwell in Self-Criticism.