A Whole Different Way Of Thinking About Guilt To Feel Better Now.

Guilt is an alarm system. It is THOUGHT energy in motion. But It does not say anything about your fundamental nature nor of WHO you are.
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By ELIZABETH ARCHIBONG

Today, we are talking about guilt.

When a member of the tribe community sent this in as a request for us to explore, I thought: “Ooh! This is juicy.”

And this may make me sound like a sociopath, but I cannot remember that last time I felt deep guilt about anything.

It is not because I think I am above this emotion. But, seeing life from a different perspective means I rarely feel the need to excessively indulge in this emotion… at least not for long periods.

Let me unpack this so we can see what we see about it. And hopefully, you can see something that can help you feel better.

Let’s get started.

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Portrait of woman with text overlay:A whole new way of thinking about guilt. No more regrets! Discover how to let go of the past to feel better now. Breathe life into how you show up in the future with more grace and ease.

Don't Want To Read ? Listen Instead. (10 mins)

What most of us do not realise about guilt is that it is an alarm system. It is THOUGHT in motion. It does not say anything about your fundamental nature nor of WHO you are.

Most of us have a skewed idea of guilt.

When the guilt alarm sounds in us, instead of being aware, taking note and then self-correcting, we stay stuck.

We stay stuck in that place of the blaring sound of the alarm bell of guilt. Then we start adding more noise to the system.

We tell ourselves that there is something wrong with us that needs fixing. And we beat ourselves up for making decisions based on how the world looked to us at that moment.

Most importantly, we start owing and becoming the thoughts around the guilt we feel. We stroke those thoughts, tickle them, tease them and make them WHO we are.

It then becomes a never-ending cycle of misery.

But, here’s the missing piece of the puzzle…

When it comes to guilt or any other emotion, we live in the feeling of our thinking.

You can only make decisions at any moment based on how the world looks to you at that moment.

At any moment, if the world looks gloomy, scary and aggressive to you, any decision or action you take at that moment will be based on this perspective.

And if the world looks bright and beautiful to you in another moment, you make decisions from that place at that moment.

 

It is a moving and fluid system. And when you are not aware of the nature of the system, it can quickly become overwhelming. Usually, this is where most people start chasing the ‘must only think positive thoughts’ journey.

But, there is nothing you need to do to get bright and beautiful thoughts.

You do not have to actively dive into your mind to get those thoughts; They come on their own if you let them.

That is how the system works.

 

Sometimes you will be in a funk and, things just seem low and off; other times, everything looks bright and, you cannot put a foot a wrong.

That is what being human is all about.

The first mistake we make is assuming that we must always feel bright and beautiful all the time.

No.

Being ‘human’ guarantees that you will experience a range of moods and emotions. You cannot change this basic fact, so please do not even try.

Most often, if you are willing to allow them to pass rather than hold onto them and try to fix them, you will find that you go back to your default state of a clear mind very quickly.

your job is simply to be self-aware enough to recognise when you are in a low state of mind. Try as much as possible not to take action or make important decisions during this period.

To bypass the drama of guilt is to go to the heart of what causes it in the first place. And what contributes to this emotion is when we make decisions and take action from a low state of mind.

Why is it important to be aware of your low state of mind?

Well, because it is where and when we tend to do the most damage to ourselves and the people around us.

Damage that leads to guilt in the aftermath of the carnage we have caused.

 

In my case, I know that sometimes, I am grumpy and aggressive as hell or gloomy and depressed when I am in a low state of mind.

On a given day, my well of patience is finite. But when I am in a low state mind, it is even less; I do not suffer fools easily.

Knowing this about myself, why would I ever want to take action or make any important decisions during this time?

 

Most often, you will find me unusually quiet during these periods of low moods, and I try to make myself as scarce as possible.

If I cannot make myself scarce, then I try not to put myself in situations that require me to communicate more than I need to.

The less I agitate myself or things around me in this state of mind, the quicker I can allow it to pass with less damage done all round.

But what I know for sure, is that the low mood will pass. Because that is how the system works. There is nothing I need to do except to get out of the way and allow it to do so.

 

A low state of mind looks different to everyone.

Some of us are aggressive, some of us are defensive, some cry all the time, others apologise for everything, others shut down and become uncommunicative.

You can be in the process of grieving and experiencing loss, that is also a low state of mind.

Also, you can be depressed, feel heavy, gloomy and tired.

Take your pick, the list is endless.

But you will know when you are in a low state of mind because things will feel off, heavy, hot, rushed AND, there will be a lot of pressure to take action and react to whatever you are focused on at that moment.

When things seem this way, the last thing you should be doing is trying to make any decisions, take any actions or figure anything out.

In a low state of mind, the quality of thoughts passing through you is usually not worth the energy most of us spend thinking about them.

But yet, this is where the world tells us we need to dive in and figure it out.

So we dive into the pool of low-quality thoughts that can bring nothing but misery in any circumstance. And we start taking crazy actions that take us away from our true nature and self.

When the fog clears and, the low state of mind rises as it always does, we are left with our foot stuck in our mouths. We also have a lot of damage that needs to be undone.

And so, the guilt alarm sounds.


To make things worse, when the guilt alarm rings to tell us of the damage we have caused, instead of taking note, making amends as best as we can and moving on…

We stay stuck and let the alarm keep blaring.

The obvious thing would be to turn off the alarm, find out and fix what caused the disturbance, right?

If you had an alarm going off in your home, that is what you would do, right?

You would not keep the alarm blaring while you beat yourself up that the alarm went off in the first place.

The purpose of the alarm is to inform you when there is a potential problem. Your job is to try to fix things if there is damage and also ensure as best as you can, that it does not happen again.



And that is what it is with guilt. It serves its only purpose by sounding the alarm.

Your job is to be aware enough to get back to your true self and, it only takes a thought to get you there.

When you are there, in the space within – your default space, take a survey and see what needs to be corrected; Make amends quickly and as best as you can and then move forward.

That is all you can ever do.

You are not meant to stay stuck in the past. It is not inherent in our nature to be stuck in the past as most tend to do with guilt.

Moving forward does not mean that you are ignoring your actions and past decisions.

What it means is that you can only see what you see about anything in any given moment. And how you see is what determines how you show up at any given moment.

 

Now, other forms of guilt tend to crop up from time to time.

One of the more popular ones is when you feel guilty that you are not doing what others expect you to do even if deep down, you know it is not something you want to do.

When the world tells you that you are supposed to feel a particular way about something but, you do not.

Or the world demands that you must act or BE a certain way and your heart tells you otherwise…

So you feel guilty because you are not conforming to expectations.


I personally do not call these particular emotions guilt. I see them more like a search for approval.

But, you are not here to be a dancing monkey for anyone. It is not your job to regulate everybody’s emotion with your behaviour.

So, allowing yourself to swim in guilt because you are not doing what others expect of you so that they can feel good, does harm to you and them.

You can only be WHO you are.

 

If you are aligned to your true self, your intention will naturally not be about causing harm unless you take action when you are in a low mood.

When you are aligned to all that you are, you begin to see that you have nothing to prove.

You will feel what you feel and be who you BE. That is all you can ever do. The rest is left to others.

I guarantee that just as you can go beyond the noise and connect to WHO you are, they also have that ability.

But you have to give them the space to do so, rather than trying to jump in with your THOUGHTS of guilt about not meeting their expectations and making them feel good with your actions.

Final Word On Guilt and Overcoming Regret To feel Better Now.

As we end the conversation, here is what I will say:

Do not complicate things more than they need to be.

Your system is always supporting you.

If you can only trust your system the same way you trust the stories floating around in your head, you will find that you will always get back to your default space a lot quicker than you can imagine.

You will also find that you do less damage along the way to yourself and those around you in your low moods.

And the issue of the guilt alarm blaring becomes less because you will see that you are more secure and more grounded in yourself than you have ever been.

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Hey there!

I’m Elizabeth Archibong. A Nigerian girl obsessed setting the rules on fire to create life and results from a place of ease and a path of least resistance.  I teach people how to see themselves more simply and accurately. So that they can create and get more of the things that they want.