Friday, 21 February 2014

Have Questions~ Have Answers? Week 7- Why do we hold on to guilt?


Why do we hold on to guilt? A very interesting question. Let's regress by looking at typical childcare practice. Take your average children- Jane and John of old and more likely Jade and Jordan these days- there have been many changes in childcare but the 'sorry' routine is not one of them. Jade hits Jordan and is told to apologize but she refuses-repeatedly, leaving a rather awkward situation that will not benefit anyone and remains unresolved without the appropriate closure- ie: the obligatory hug that denotes everything is well. Similarly, in later life Jordan seriously upsets his best friend to such an extent that his apology is rejected and their friendship will never be the same again.

Our attitude towards both our behaviour and the need to apologise will have a huge affect upon the way we harbour guilt. The ability to apologise could almost be seen as a gift because an apology opens the way to reconciliation. Unfortunately not everyone is able to see the benefits of apologising. Some people have a real problem bringing themselves to apologise, the words, 'I'm sorry' freezing long before they reach their lips. This can result in ongoing consequences which they no longer have control over. On a personal level, the problem is that our minds and bodies harbour guilt unless we can find a way to release it. How hard it must be walking around with layers of guilt under your everyday exterior.

Sometimes we hide behind guilt, probably unknowingly, and it acts as an invisible barrier between the present and our potentially glowing future. Guilt literally weighs us down and feeds off our natural energy leaving little energy to call upon should we wish to use it. If you suddenly have a brilliant idea but are weighed down by guilt, the chances of you having enough motivation to act on that idea is minimal.

The most common reason for holding on to guilt is simply that we believe we deserve it. We did something wrong and as a consequence must suffer continually. How crazy is that? If we do something good do we believe that we should be praised continually? No we don't. We glorify in it for a short while and then get back to normal. So why is our expectation from something bad so much stronger? I think that negativity is the norm, just listen to everyday conversation, watch the soap opera's - NO DON'T DO THAT!! Or should I say, ' it would benefit you more if you find an upbeat programme!!!

Guilt is a distorted truth and should have only one purpose; to indicate that we are wrong and need to make amends. If you can grasp that then you know what you have to do. The person we hurt the most is usually yourself,- so remember to forgive yourself and move on. There is no purpose in carrying a burden of guilt and if you love yourself you will let it go. Things happen, it's part of life. Forgive yourself, forgive others and move forwards to a better future. Forgiveness takes maturity and understanding. As humans we all need to take our turn at saying sorry and looking towards the joy life has to offer.

THOUGHT: What sprang to mind when you read this? Your greatest guilt trip probably surfaced immediately and now is the time to face it, so deal with it and free yourself!

Jaz McKenzie

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