Stop The Guilt Trap!

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Stop The Guilt Trap!
What is the Guilt Trap, and how do you avoid it?

Guilt is an emotion you feel because you believe you've caused (or will cause) harm. Aside from objective evidence that you caused true (not perceived) harm to someone, I suggest you question the logic of your guilt. How did you come to the conclusion that you should feel guilty for wanting more? Let's examine that. How could your wanting more be bad for the universe? How could it be guilt-worthy to desire to be more authentically you? If the reason for our existence is to find the full expression of being alive, then it means it is also for you to experience and live a full expression of your divinely unique and authentic self.

 

If you feel guilt for wanting more that's one of the reasons many call guilt the useless emotion. Here, it serves no purpose whatsoever.

Nevertheless, women continually feel guilt and often blame themselves for nearly everything that goes wrong. I've seen women blame themselves for their kids' behaviors, getting a pedicure, or earning money through their art (because they falsely believe that profiting from art is "selling out").

 

Women feel guilty for having fun when someone is ill (as if your sitting home will change anything), for choosing career and family, for wanting a life they love. I even remember my mother, who has a beautiful laugh, saying, "I'd better stop laughing or I'm going to have something to cry about." We even feel guilty for simply enjoying ourselves.

Perhaps guilt developed when you were a child. Your expression of yourself might not have been socially acceptable, and you learned to squelch it. (This happens to many of us.) For example, a friend of mine recently told me a very poignant memory. As a 6 year old, she was invited to be in her aunt's wedding. She simply loved her beautiful dress, and constantly twirled around just so she could watch it move. She had pretty shoes, flowers in her hair, and remembered feeling just lovely. When her aunt and her new husband were called out onto the dance floor for their "first dance," this little girl ran out onto the dance floor to twirl and dance and be the full expression of how she was feeling. Her mother and grandmother quickly grabbed her and pulled her off the dance floor, telling her "NO!" She never forgot that moment, felt humiliated and said that was one of her biggest lessons in suppressing her natural inclinations.

 

Now, we can all picture this scenario, and you can see both sides. However, the message this little girl received was, "Don't act on your feelings. Don't be who you are." This happens continually in our lives. It is the seed of the continual guilt you may feel for "indulging" in being honestly, genuinely YOU.

Most of the time, these messages come accidentally, or even through the best of intentions.

 

We all want our children to be socially accepted, adhere to certain societal norms. But so often, it is at the expense of personality or authenticity. Sometimes those in positions of power, be it a parent, religious leader or teacher, give us the message that we are not good enough when we are being ourselves, and we must adhere to other's ideas of what is good and right in order to excel in life.

We learn to suppress our true nature.

 

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