Clear signs that you are a guilt sufferer and even some that you may not have been aware of
Guilt is a very powerful emotion, just like all the emotions, if you are not aware of its power and tend to feel often, you may not even realize that it is the driving force behind everything you do and how you do it. Apparently for women it is more likely to rear its head than it is for men and this is usually because as women we are conditioned to be nice and play nice.
But before I go into why it exists let me just say that guilt – although it has a dark side to it – it also has a very beneficial part to it too. The feeling of guilt can illustrate a number of things – firstly, it can become your compass guiding you to what is right or wrong for you. Lets say a mother knows that she is not spending enough time with her child, her feeling of guilt may guide her back spending more time with the one that she loves. Without guilt she may end up abandoning the child and not caring for it.
Guilt also can stop people from killing each other as they think to themselves that they wouldn’t be able to live with themselves. In reality, they wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt.
However it is when guilt starts running you that it becomes dangerous if it permeates the different areas of our lives. It can stop people leaving relationships that they know are not right for them; it can stop people from living their true values and turn them into “a people – pleaser”; it can make them financially bankrupt as they do not feel deserving of the money that they either earn or are gifted and then spend it on things they don’t even need or invest it in appropriate schemes; it can manifest eating disorders as the feeling of guilt of nourishing themselves is all too much for them to bare; it can fuel thoughts such as “I am a bad person”. In short, if not managed or understood it can have you living in fear and dread.
The question is where does guilt come from?
Lets start with the first question. The root cause will usually start with how the mother / parents felt about the child they bore. If the child has any sense that they were not wanted then they will start to feel guilt for even existing. This is the most deeply routed out of all the types of guilt that we can take on and will usually permeate all other areas of their life. It can also come from society and religion - what is deemed right and wrong of how we SHOULD act which now resides in the collective consciousness.
Below are some of the most popular reasons as to why guilt manifests..
1) The belief that you have to be perfect
What if you were perfect already? What if the belief that you HAVE to be is just a belief? Beliefs are handed down to us from our parents and people around us, but do we need to believe them? No – believing that you have to be perfect will stop you from releasing that book you want to until it is perfect – in most cases it wont be – so this belief can keep you from moving forward. Also if you feel you are not perfect you will beat yourself and judge yourself making you feel pretty awful.
2) Owning the “Non-Deserving” Story
If guilt is hanging out with you most of the time you may well not feel deserving on many levels. You may not feel deserving of making your business successful, or of getting back to a person or even getting the help you know you want and need because you feel guilty of giving yourself something that would bring about your happiness.
3) That it's more important to please others than putting yourself first
Guilt will run your people pleaser, which will have you doing things for others that can compromise your values. You feel that you SHOULD do something so that those around you like you and praise you for having done that one thing that (in your heart) you don’t want to do. I have often seen (and have experienced this myself) that when my clients give-give-give to others out of guilt that they often forget about themselves and get ill.
4) Blind to how your actions will indeed serve the person just as it wont
If you have ever hurt someone without the intention of doing so and wish that you hadn’t remember that there is a balance in the universe that dictates that whatever you have done or not done towards another – it will serve them just as much as you perceive that it doesn’t. Let me give you an example, I was working with a client who wanted to leave the relationship that she was in but didn’t want to leave because she didn’t want to hurt her ex. Once she saw that leaving him would finally have him grow up, take stock of his life and become responsible for his finances she was able to finally have the conversation and the relationship.
5) Believing that you are a “bad” person
Owning this belief will keep you hiding. It will do one of two things. The first, it will have you do “bad” things just to prove this belief – it can be a trigger to beat yourself up with. Or you will overcompensate for the fact that you have this belief and hide it at all costs. Having worked with clients, I have seen overcompensation that can lead to “physical” and “emotional” abuse by their ex partner. An abusive relationship is usually born from this belief that then feeds into feeling that you don’t deserve a great relationship or that you deserve to be treated that way.
Recognition of running a “guilt program” can sometimes be hard, but if you resonate with any of these and have found yourself in similar situations there is a strong possibility that guilt is lurking in the background.
So how do you live a guilt free life?
It all starts with recognizing that guilt is part of your make-up. Once you have identified it, you are made aware of it and this is where you can start to change it. Hypnosis, energy work, or even matrix re-imprinting can help you shift the guilt to start having a more guilt free life.
One thing you can do today is to acknowledge it when it does show up and say “Thank you for being in my life and now I lovingly let you go.” It is important to work together with the guilt and have it become your friend versus you resisting the emotion, as it is part of who you are. We just need to spend more time loving our emotions as that is all they are – energy in motion with a story.
Marina Pearson is a best-selling author, speaker and the founder of Divorce Shift an organization that works with women to get them over their ex-relationships so they can move on in 6 sessions or less. www.DivorceShift.com