Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Handling Guilt

Had an email from Claire saying: "Hi Steve - I took part in your recent teleconference and i still had some questions so I thought I'd email you. It's about debt...I am approx 30K in debt after several years of lack of career direction and very little paid work. I haven't felt consistently 'in the flow' for ages. I moved to London last year to live with my boyfriend and hoped a new change and a new start would bring new opportunities. feels like things are just getting worse though and I'm finding it hard to see a way out. I don't want this situation to carry on any longer, but I feel stuck and unsure what to do. I've recently realised my debt is about guilt - It's as if I've felt guilty about owing my parents back for all the money they spent on my education and I feel like I've let them down through not having all the 'stuff' they said was important - good job, husband, family, pension, owning a home etc. I've recently done a visualisation with a healer friend of mine and started saying the affirmation "I'm innocent" to try and help shift the guilty feelings. I'd be very grateful for any advice / suggestions you could give me at this time to help me move towards openness, flow and prosperity. Many thanks, Claire"

My reply to her was: "Guilt is a great obstacle to moving forward happily and successfully in life. Speaking as a parent, it is the role of a parent to give unconditionally so that my children will feel able to give unconditionally to their children. You have no debt to repay to your parents. Your parents can help you on your way, but any advice as to how you should live your life is counter-productive (as you know). Most parents give such advice out of worry not realizing that all they are doing is imbedding worry into the unconscious of their children. If parents really got this point they would mostly stop doing it.

Guilt creates unhealthy psychic cords between yourself and the other party. Guilt is a tricky one to deal with because sometimes guilt is initiated at a very young age, pre-verbal, and the feeling of guilt can arise for just being alive. That is what makes it so tricky to tackle. Guilt, unlike fear and anger and hatred, has no redeeming aspects. It is a killer pure and simple. Guilt will leave you vulnerable to manipulation. Guilt is sometimes anger and resentment that is hiding out as guilt. It may be anger that you feel you have no right to express. The language of guilt is full of should’s and ought’s.

Be gentle on yourself. Acceptance is a great antidote. Affirmations on innocence sound great. Being more conscious of the feeling of guilt can help, as can counseling, and some forms of meditation. Stop thinking in terms of should or obligation. Sit with the thought that you do not have to live your life according to your parent’s wishes. And that you are not harming them in any way by learning through your mistakes as well as your successes. If they have any upset then that is their responsibility and not yours. You cannot heal your parents; you cannot change them, however, if you heal yourself you will free them to some degree.

Take some time to focus on your dreams, what inspires you, what you enjoy, what brings you peace. The more you do this the less psychic space you will have for guilt.

Also get some support. There are some amazing organsations around for instance I highly recommend the Essence Foundation in London. They do amazing work that could really help in dealing with issues such as guilt."

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