“If only I wasn’t an atheist, I could get away with anything. You’d just ask for forgiveness and then you’d be forgiven. It sounds much better than having to live with guilt.” ~ Keira Knightley
Guilt. That icky sticky feeling we all hate and yet…just try something you think you shouldn’t or say “no” when you think you should say yes…and there it is! Guilt.
And although Catholics and Jews alike may claim to have a monopoly on it, it seems there is plenty of guilt to go around no matter what religion you practice, or don’t practice.
So, can we eradicate guilt? Is there a way to just get rid of it once and for all, and live a truly guilt free life? You might be asking.
Well, not so fast, although I do want to show you how to alleviate guilt, I want your life to be almost guilt free. That is, I want to show you the wonderful and amazing hidden value of guilt. And once you see what it is, you’ll be able to use the little bit of guilt you do experience to create absolute magic.
Guilt only serves one purpose, and no, it isn’t to hound you and make you feel like crap until you finally give in and do what you think you should do.
Truly the one useful purpose that we can find in those feelings of guilt is that they can show us our own personal value system. And once we see what it is that we truly value we can usually find a way to honor that value without compromising our boundaries, our self-esteem, our decisions, and our freedom.
The first step to ending the feeling of guilt, or maybe I should say transforming the feeling of guilt is to ask yourself WHY you’re feeling guilty. What value is attached to your ideas about the situation?
Once I had a conversation with a woman who was feeling really guilty. She had made a decision to stay at home for the day with her small children and just “do nothing”…and as soon as she had made this decision the phone rang. A friend needed her help NOW. The need her friend had was very real, and it was urgent, and now she was torn but decided to honor her original plan and stay home with her babies. The problem now was that she felt overwhelmed with guilt, she felt terrible for not saying yes to her friend.
When I asked her why she felt guilty about her choice she answered me like I was crazy for even asking. What a silly question! Her answer to my silly question was, “Because a good friend should always be ready to drop everything to help out!”
You see, she has a very high value around being “a good friend”. We discussed what exactly makes “a good friend”, and once we had a few more moments of discussion she began to see that there were a lot of other ways she could show up as a good friend, and without compromising her decision to stay home, to be a good mom, and to be good to herself.
So, this thing that has got you feeling all guilty, what value is it attached to? Why do you think you should? or shouldn’t? And how can you honor that value without compromising your freedom, your choices, and your boundaries?
Once you answer those questions and begin to see how to honor those strong values you have, you’ll feel the guilt lift…just like magic.
That’s the happy surprise hiding in your guilty feelings.
You’ll feel relief. You’ll feel the power that comes from honoring your own personal values. You’ll be free.
Love & Magic,