Further Thoughts on Guilt

Last week we contemplated the idea of shifting our focus from finding ourselves Guilty to finding ourselves Not Guilty – (and not by reason of insanity, either!).  The idea that guilt is a very low vibrational energy should be clue enough – dear lord, every person who has been bitten by the new age bug talks about raising their personal vibration!  So guilt’s gotta go.

Occasionally folks in my practice or school will tell me that guilt’s a barometer – it keeps you on the straight and narrow.  In other words, don’t do that or you’ll feel guilty.  Or do that so you won’t feel guilty.

Yeah - exactly, guilt is all about PRESSURE!

I always concede; yes, it’s a barometer, a check and balance.  But truthfully, guilt does not a moral compass make.  As I look at it, it’s simply the fraternal twin to shame (and we know I’m not talking about shame in this issue either – it deserves an entire blog post or two of its own!)

But aren’t we all a bit more sophisticated than that?  What would happen if compassion was our moral compass?

Do you notice that the word compass is built right into the word compassion?  What wise wordsmith figured that out?  And might it be a signpost to all of us that we can be guided and led through our compassionate hearts?  Especially since the heart is the fulcrum of our energy field.

Guilt is a low vibration emotion and it tends to resonate in our lower chakras.  You know the story of chakra development right?  The first chakra is activated at birth, the second chakra comes along at seven, the age of reason.  The third chakra kicks in around puberty, a new level of autonomy and individuation begins here, but we’re hardly emancipated!

These lower chakras are the metabolizers of our early experience.  And guilt is most often felt in the lower belly, either the first or second chakra.  Does that give you an idea of where guilty feelings might have formed?  In your early life, prior to significant levels of emancipation or autonomy are realized.

Thus guilt is probably the product of what?  Our upbringing, what our families taught us, what the church and our teachers told us.  Can we actually trust that all of the data that we received as little people that generated a sense of guilt and (shame – which I won’t talk about here) was viable data?  For example, I remember being told often – why can’t you be like _________ [fill in the blank – sometimes one of my siblings, other times children of my parent’s friends].  I always had the right answer, “because I’m not __________” [fill in the blank, see above].  Yeah, that went well.  A punishable offense.  Except years later it occurred to me – what I said was true.  I can’t be like other because I’m NOT other.  I’m me.  And I don’t feel guilty about being me!

So the way to move out of guilt is to move into compassion.  And the way to stay out of guilt is to use your compass-ion.  And your compassion center is connected to your heart, your fulcrum of awareness.

The way to move forward is to notice when guilt is driving your bus.  Make a new choice.  Bring your awareness to your upper chest – the clavicle – the structure of bone and tissue between your heart and your throat chakra.

That entire area is your compassion center.  Breathe in to that space, expand your sense of presence there and say hello to your imperfect self.  Ask yourself – is the choice, decision, action that I took that is evoking guilt the wrong choice, decision or action?  If it is, choose something different.  If your choice, decision or action remains true and authentic to you, your guilt is resonating from other space and time when SOMEONE ELSE WAS THE BOSS OF YOU.  And their point of view is simply that – their point of view.  And you’re in the here and now and YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU!

Now, let’s all get on with the business of life lived through compassion, with our compass as our guide.  And let’s remember that compassion begins with self, and the unlimited excess is what’s offered to others.

Now aren’t you glad you spilt your guilt?  Onward and upwards!  Up and away!  It’s time to have a compassionate day!

Keep your energy flowing…

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