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guilt trip
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The Futility Of Guilt - Why It Should Be Banished
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There are broadly two kinds of guilt trip. The one taken after felonious acts, when the lives of others are seriously and negatively affected and the petty guilt trip which is non-productive and injurious to the self.

How often have you heard people admitting to feeling guilty about a sharp word, failure to provide a meal on time, refusal to indulge someone's desires (especially with demanding children), being late, being poor etc?

Petty guilt is probably the most energy wasting of emotions, though it is questionable whether it can, in fact, be classed as an 'emotion'. The word itself (emotion) is resonant, suggests movement and has the feel of water. 'Guilt' is a heavy boulder which sits, immovable - for years if you let it - tying up boundless energy to keep it in place. Its intransigeance, apart from the energetic robbery, is singularly unproductive and it should be banished from every repertoire.

"Easier said!" you're thinking. But true.

The heavy weight of a boulder - difficult to hold, arduous to carry - blocks finer, lighter feelings which cannot by-pass it; and these are the very feelings which could help to creatively soothe the discomfort and distress of a situation, enabling movement forward. Instead, guilt's destructive hold can last ad infinitum.

What causes it?

Transferred blame, guilt is ultimately self inflicted. It is important to recognise that we can choose or reject it. As masters of our own castle we are responsible for what we allow in - and something as repressive as guilt should be cast into the moat.

If actually 'culpable' of a misdeed (a deliberate selection of the alternative for 'guilty') then accepting responsibility and making reparation is positive action - it is movement! Few crimes attract a life sentence and volunteering for one serves no purpose. Apologising, making amends or crying it out of the system is all to the good.

The misdemeanors (if that is what they are) instigating guilt are many and varied but are often unintended or imagined. Among the most tragic are those borne by children in situations over which they have no control. Conflict in a child's environment can be taken to heart and the child is convinced he/she is at fault. Self blame can fester and impede the healthy flowering of the child's development. In fact, once the pattern is set, that individual gathers the blame for most of the ills of the world until natural, confident function is straitened beyond endurance and the progression to serious illness becomes inevitable.

Grief (especially following bereavement) and the sense of loss it brings, is fertile soil for guilt, when the memories of even the tiniest of neglects of lost loved one is raked up and fed until it overwhelms. A natural period of this thought-upheaval following death or disaster is normal process but, prolonged, it becomes pathological and inimical to positive, creative function.

Light and wellbeing emanates from those who, in the light of supposed transgressions, readily take responsibility, are able to justify their action and explain themselves, accept that they are wrong and offer compensatory measures, or simply hold their ground and move on unridden by guilt. There is strength and openness in this attitude and it commands respect. Guilt closes, fossilizes and creates a furtiveness of action which arouses mistrust. Fine examples of this are witnessed between former enemies in war. Glorious reconciliations between arch enemies of World War 2 have shown individuals weeping in each others arms, absolving each other's guilt with forgiveness. An extreme example, maybe - not petty! but to jettison the small boulders, collectively impacts on the smoothing of relations between people.

We are all guilty of guilt - however unfounded - and should mindfully begin to shatter our own boulders. Releasing the Inoccents that we are will make for a more honest, happier world, without guilt.


Street Talk

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