The Truth About Guilt
By Kidest Mengistu
Guilt is a useless emotion. It interferes with learning & is based on something completely false.
I'm not talking about the process where you recognize a mistake & learn from it, this benefits you. But the thought-forms of guilt do more to interfere with your learning from mistakes, because what you’re
actually doing is ruminating over what was said or done rather than deciding that you'll not do or say that thing again.
Learning from a mistake is a decision you make. Guilt,
on the other hand, is that lingering & repeating thought & feeling that holds that you've hurt someone or that your actions have caused someone real harm.
There’s no benefit or purpose to hanging on to that feeling. It’s not useful to your learning, your growth, or your peace of mind. When you feel guilty, you walk around with this subtle or heavy feeling of self-punishment.
"I shouldn't have done that" or “I shouldn’t have said that” you
say to yourself & you feel bad about it.
But ask yourself, is guilt a useful emotion?
And who does this really "harm?"
Does feeling guilty even change the situation?
Who does feeling guilty benefit?
The fact remains that the truth of anyone can't come to harm. Who & what we are at our essence is immune to the words & actions of others.
Our spirit is invulnerable. It can't be broken or injured in any way. The core of
your being is unchanging. It doesn't become affected by the words or actions of the outside world. Does the sun change shape
when you throw a rock toward it?
The part of people that "feels" any kind of injury
is really the ego, the projected self, the conditioned self & the false perception that people are their identities. People
aren't their identities.
Nothing can harm your essence. And the only thing that
alters your own peace of mind is the thought-forms you keep & the emotions that accompany these thought-forms.
In the same light
, who is it that "feels
? Is it your truth
or is it your projected sense of "I-ness," your conditioned self
hich part of you is it that believes
it can actually cause harm to another?
hich part of you is it that believes
it can be harmed by other's?
about that the next time some situations arouses feelings of guilt
within you. Face this
for what it is, a false belief that veils your awareness
from the truth
within you & recognize
it as a thought
-form that is of no use to you on many levels. So ask yourself
, are the thought
-forms of guilt
useful to me in any way? Do they teach me how to grow? Do they teach me
how to learn my lesson? Do they teach me how to keep my peace
, the chances are, you're feeling bad
about something of the past. It's usually after we've done or said something that the feelings
creep up. Do we ever really feel guilt
while we're doing the action in question or speaking the words we’re feeling regret
It’s usually a done deal. It’s usually after the fact that we ruminate,
look back & start that subtle self-punishment by attaching to thought-forms of guilt.
So what else does guilt
It takes you way from the solid present moment. While you sit there & enter the mind-realm of worry about what you said or what you did, while you sit there beating
yourself up mentally, you're not in the Here & Now.
That situation is no longer alive & in front of you. That situation is no longer
real in any sense of the word “real.” That situation is now just a memory. It’s gone & now only resides
in the realm of your mind, in the form of an image.
That situation is long gone, yet there you are away from the moment at hand, still feeling attached to it & reacting to it.
So the thought-forms of guilt skillfully only accomplish two things. It misleads you into believing that you can harm another & it takes you away from the realness of the present moment.
Can you see its uselessness?
translate into a call to go thru life carelessly saying that we can't cause real harm to other’s & therefore can do or say whatever we want? No. If you’re
out there trying to cause chaos in the lives of other’s, then you’re probably not one who’s reading this
One of the 8-rungs of yoga, Ahimsa, teaches us not to injure or show cruelty to any
creature or any person in thought, speech, or action. It’s a conscious effort we can make to adopt a considerate attitude in our interactions. But if in your practice you recognize that you made a mistake, which happens to everyone, learn from it & move on.
Don’t stay long in the guilty state of mind.
It accomplishes nothing. True growth begins by learning & letting go of our mistakes, which are only lessons in disguise.
Live A Guilt Free Life
By Doris Jeanette,
Guilt is the worst experience known to humans. It ties us up in knots & makes us feel unworthy & miserable. First, let me explain that it isn't a real feeling.
It's caused by thinking that we've done something wrong. We think we've done something wrong because we judge ourselves or someone else judges us.
Psychologically "feel guilty" is a conditioned response, not
an authentic feeling. In other words, we're taught to feel bad & thus guilty when someone judges us. This judgment can be about anything, such as how we dress, how we move, how we think, what we do.
When the truth is, there's no right way to dress, move, think, or do! The more creative we are, the more ways we can find to dress, move, think & do! Judgment seriously limits creativity.
When someone is offended by your behavior, they're making a judgment against you. They're accusing you of doing something wrong. The interesting thing is that when a person judges you as wrong, they're in fact, defending against their own feelings. This is where knowing a little about energy & psychological dynamics is very helpful.
What I mean is that when your behavior puts another person in touch with feelings inside of themselves that they're blocking & don't want to feel, they become offended. It's the ego that's offended & it's the ego that wants control.
The ego wants you to do what it wants you to do, so it'll do anything it can do
to keep you in control. The way the ego controls people is to use guilt.
People, cultures &
societies over the centuries have used guilt, shame & blame to control their children. The Jewish culture is famous for their guilt & indeed they have developed
it to a high art. I was full of guilt myself so the southern families have obviously used
it very successfully as well! Guilt is used to condition children to behave as expected.
When you "feel guilty," you think that you've done something wrong & are judging yourself. The result is your energy becomes totally tied up in knots & pulls you in different directions at the same
time, with no resolution possible.
You've committed a "sin" & you need to be punished. Pretty awful stuff. So of course being the "good person" that you is, you punish yourself for being so bad
by making yourself miserable.
Guilt is the place that you're stuck. No matter what you do, you feel bad. It's a losing battle, an inner conflict where you lose no matter what you do!
It's easy to see that this no win situation is crazy & guilt need not
guide any decision you make in your life. Never, yes, never trust guilt! If you've done something you really regret, apologize & stop doing it, otherwise dispense with guilt. Don't let guilt ruin your life.
When I hurt someone's feelings, I usually sense it because I feel bad. I take a deep breath, feel my feelings, go back & apologize to the person. The last time I did this was in Sweden with one of my students. I told him what I
was feeling so he could understood what was happening inside of me that made me be abrupt & insensitive to him.
At first he said it was all right, so I had to apologize 3 different times
to him before he accepted it. I felt better as soon as I talked to him, but I didn't feel complete until he accepted my apology, which meant acknowledging that I'd been insensitive to him. As you can see, taking responsibility for yourself is very different from guilt.
So how do
you get rid of guilt? Become conscious of your judgments of yourself & stop accepting judgments from yourself or others. Start attending to your own needs & honor them, rather than making them wrong. Feel your real feelings & you'll come to know what's best for you rather than what you've been conditioned to think you should do.
You'll find that you've been conditioned to think badly of yourself for many, many healthy things. The only way to resolve guilt is to stop making you or others wrong. It's simple. Cease
the judgments that you or anyone else is wrong & then you'll be able to relax & love again.
Be aware that making someone else wrong is the same thing as making yourself wrong. The psychological law states that how you
relate to others is how you relate to yourself. If you make someone else wrong, you're making yourself wrong. That's the reason
you feel so miserable.
You'll feel relief once you stop making ANYONE wrong. My self-help audiotapes & CD’s, A Natural Process for Opening the Heart,
can help you recognize the energy of judgment & guilt so that you can decide to free yourself from these monsters. Forgiveness is really nothing more than giving up your own judgment about something.
There's no right or wrong, only experiences to learn from. So,
get out there & enjoy learning, living & growing. Toss guilt out. Trust yourself & love yourself. Create the life you want & the relationships you want. Try a guiltless way
to live. You'll be happy & find joy in the daily events of life.
Exploring the "Should's": Is it Necessity, Desire, or Guilt?
By ADD Management Coach Jennifer Koretsky
How many times a day do you find yourself using the word "should"?
ADDers are full of "should's": I should do the dishes, I should clean out the fridge, I should see that movie, I should call
my friend, etc. The word "should" can be very dangerous to an adult with ADD, because it often results in guilt.
In order to break thru this & help you prioritize the things
that you "should" do, try exploring your "should's" by asking yourself the following question:
Is this a necessity, a desire, or guilt? Here are some examples:
I should do my taxes.
Necessity: If you don't do your taxes, you can find your finances slipping out of control. You can end up owing the government penalty fees. And you will absolutely have undue stress. This "should" is a necessity.
I should buy that CD.
Desire: This is something that you want to make you happy. You like the music you hear & therefore you want to own it. This "should" is a desire.
I should clean my house more often.
If the "should" comes when you compare yourself to others, then guilt is probably involved.
It often happens when we feel like we aren't living up to the performance or expectations of others (or
our perceived performance/expectations of others.) If you visit a friend's house & its neat & clean,
you may falsely interpret this to mean that your friend cleans all the time.
In reality, your friend may have spent hours cleaning her/his house before you arrived
to make it look nice! If you're physically & mentally comfortable with the amount of time you spend cleaning your house,
then cleaning more often isn't a necessity, it's not a desire, its a "should" that is just useless guilt!
Try this exercise for a whole day. Every time you find yourself using the word "should," ask yourself
if it's a necessity, desire, or guilt. I promise that you'll feel a lot a better about all the things you think you "should" be doing!
Why & How Does The Man Get Angry?
By Wayne L. Misner
Here are some possibilities:
It’s very possible that some males feel worthless, guilty & ashamed.
Each male reason can be different:
- from childhood occurrences to adulthood occurrences
- from real reasons to just sub-conscious reasons
The sense of failure makes him angry with himself. He takes the rage & anger out on those who are around him - most of the time on those that love him & believe it or not, those that he loves the most.
The behavior borders & sometimes enters a state of depression. When asked why he reacts the way he does, most men don't know.
Leo Madow, M.D. in his book Anger28 stated,
“There are 2 major reasons for quick open
expressions of anger. The 1st is that the individual has accumulated so much anger that only a little more is needed to set him off. This is seen in the person who overreacts to a situation by becoming more angry than is warranted. Such a person has had many dissatisfactions in his life & is walking around with a high concentration of stored-up anger.
The 2nd reason is that the quick-to-anger person has found that anger works & is conditioned to continue its use. If a youngster finds that by having a temper tantrum he gets what he wants,
he is encouraged to have another the next time he is denied something. If the next one is equally successful, he'll begin to develop a pattern of behavior.”
I believe some of the stored up anger in men is the frustration of holding in & numbing feelings as he is growing up.
The cycle theory, consisting of some form of:
- tension building stage
- then the explosion stage
- then the honeymoon stage
is just one of many theories around today. It does seem that when anyone holds in all of their emotions & tries to control them, the tension definitely builds.
Observing the release of these suppressed emotions seems to verify that the anger release isn't in direct proportion to the event that precipitated the explosion.
The honeymoon stage isn't difficult to understand. The individual who exploded feels like a complete jerk. So, to make up for this inappropriate behavior, buys flowers, takes
her to dinner & swears it'll never happen again. (In some cases where it has happened
again & again, they now beg her to forgive them.)
I believe a pressure-cooker that has the release valve clogged up, will have the same tension building stage & explosion
stage to follow. The solution to the pressure cooker problem is the exact same solution for you or your loved one.
Release the tension slowly as it builds up. Very simple, but very difficult for a man,
who has this belief system that if he shows emotions, he isn't strong & therefore isn't a man.
Another result of not letting the emotions come out, is that men are struggling with the problem of buried feelings. These feelings are hidden so well & buried so deep that they can't feel at all. He is almost a robot.
Some men have broken out of this trance thru some form of trauma. It might have been a heart attack, a life-threatening event (car accident, plane accident, near drowning, work-related accident),
or losing something important.
This could be his job, a loved one thru death or his significant other because he couldn't
open up to allow her in, or he was abusive this angry explosions may have driven her away. That big wall he is hiding behind not only allows no one in, but also is his prison
cell. He can't get out. (A life sentence! What a price to pay for being afraid of feeling.)
I was physically abused as a little boy growing up. Then my father abandoned me when I was 9 years old. The lack of a father to help validate me, to love me & a man I could love, left a void & empty hole inside of me which I'll never be able to fill. I have learned to live with it, but to be abandoned emotionally is to struggle the rest of your life to be validated. It also implants a fear that all those you'll love in the future will also abandon you.
I believe that those men who get angry & push their significant others away are subconsciously testing them to see if they'll leave or if they really do love them & will stay.
This is a self-defeating method that erodes the love of the significant other until there's no love left & she does walk away - another self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sharyn Wolf wrote How To Stay Lovers For Life.44 She stated, “If you're
in a high-conflict stage in your relationship, it may mean that one of you or both of you wants something in the relationship to change.
Of course, some people get scared of real change & they spend most of their lives in a Pit - they never break thru. Some couples get scared to really join their lives,
to experience each other’s reality & each other’s differences & they live their lives in the Pit too,
defining each other as the enemy. They never learn how to join forces in conflict, appreciate conflict & prosper from it. But not you!”
When I was in the Korean War, we often worried about being wounded or killed. Before
going into battle, our squad would discuss the objective. The objective could have been to take a dried, barren, desolate
waste of a hill. The squad would wonder, “Is this hill worth my life?” In time of war, the troops don't have the military intelligence division reporting the answer to their questions
directly. (We did pray that those making the decisions & directing us did.)
The United States lost over 53,000 men in the Korean police action. When you get angry & are going into battle with your loved one (the enemy?), you might
ask yourself the same question: “Is this hill worth my life?” or “If I do this will I lose her forever?” (Can this be what
is meant by the adage “win the battle but lose the war?”)
I'm not advocating holding everything in until you erupt like a volcano or the pressure-cooking
pot. Your feelings - & anger is a feeling - are valid. What I'm saying is to express your feelings of anger in a constructive way instead of in a destructive way. If you're as brave, tough & strong as you're trying to make everyone believe, you would have enough courage to express your feelings in a non-threatening way.
Start accepting responsibilities for your negative behavior that causes pathetic unpleasantness for you (guilt afterwards)
& your loved ones. They're probably scared to death of you. I witnessed a father yelling at his son who couldn't have
been more than 7 years old.
As the father was yelling, the little boy actually started shaking with fear. How sad. Maybe, if you could see inside of those you love as you’re yelling at them, you would see them shaking also. Is that really what a brave, tough, strong man is? Is that who you want to be?
What do I mean by brave, tough, or strong? My description of a brave, tough & strong man is a man who is comfortable with his manhood. He doesn't have to prove to anyone that he's a man.
His actions speak for him, i.e.; at a party of people who are mostly strangers some men
will group together & talk about sports, cars & sex. These aren't the actions I'm talking about. I refer to the man
who isn't in that group but who is sitting on the floor playing with the baby.
Or the man who is outside with the kids playing a sport or the guy who is comfortable talking to a group of women about cooking some type of dish - this is the strong man. This man is able to tell a locker room
full of professional football players that he washes dishes, cleans floors & changes diapers. If you have to act tough
to prove you’re a man, then maybe you’re trying to prove it to yourself.
Contributed by Kerby Anderson
Have you ever felt guilty? Of course you have, usually because you were indeed guilty.
But what about those times when you have feelings of guilt even when you
didn't do anything wrong? We would call this false guilt & that's the subject of this essay.
False Guilt usually comes from an overactive conscience. It's that badgering pushing voice that runs
you & your self image into the ground. It nags:
You probably know
the feeling. You start the day feeling like you're in a hole. You feel like you can never do enough.
You have this overactive
sense of duty & can never seem to rest. One person said he -
"felt more like a human doing than a human being."
Your behavior is
driven by a sense of guilt. That is what we will be talking about in these pages.
Much of the material
for this discussion is taken from the book entitled False Guilt
by Steve Shores. His goal is to help you determine if you
(1) have an overactive conscience and
(2) are driven by false guilt
If these are problem
areas for you, he provides practical solutions so
you can break the cycle of false guilt. I recommend
his book especially if you can recognize yourself in some of the material we cover in this essay.
In his book, Steve
Shores poses 3 sets of questions, each with some explanation. An affirmative answer to any or all of these questions may indicate that you struggle with false guilt & an overactive conscience.
1. Do you ever
feel like this:
"Something is wrong with me. There is some
stain on me, or something badly flawed that I can neither scrub out nor
Does this feeling persist even though you've become a Christian?
2. Is Thanksgiving
sort of a difficult time of year for you? Do you find it hard to muster up the Norman Rockwell spirit - you know... Mom & Dad & grandparents & kids all seated around mounds of food? Dad is carving
the turkey with a sure & gentle expression on his face & everyone looks so...well, so thankful?
Do you find yourself,
at any time of the year, dutifully thanking or praising
God without much passion?
3. How big is your
dance floor? What I mean is, How much freedom do you have? Do you feel confined by Christianity?
To you, is it mainly
a set of restrictions? Is it primarily a source of limits:
don't do this, and don't do that?
Does your Christianity have more to do with walls than with windows?
Is it a place of
narrowness or a place where light & air & liberty
Usually a person
driven by false guilt is afraid of freedom because in every act of freedom is the possibility of offending someone.
Offending someone is unacceptable. Other people are seen as pipelines of approval. If they're offended, the pipeline shuts down.
False guilt, along with an overactive conscience, is a hard master. As we turn now to look at the causes
& the cures for false
guilt, we hope to explain how to break down the confining walls & tiresome chains
that may have kept you or a loved one in bondage to false guilt.
The Source of False guilt
Next, I would like
to focus on the source of false guilt:
an overactive conscience.
What is an overactive
conscience? How does it function? Steve Shores says,
"The mission of a person's overactive conscience is to attract the expectations of others."
Imagine a light bulb
glowing brightly on a warm summer's night. What do you see in your mind's eye? Bugs. Bugs of every variety are attracted to that light. The light bulb serves as a magnet for these insects. Imagine
that light is an overactive conscience.
The expectations of others are the "bugs" that are attracted to the "light" of an overactive conscience.
Now imagine a light
bulb burning inside a screened porch. The bugs are still attracted, but they bounce off the screen.
The overactive conscience
has no screen. But it is more than that. The overactive conscience doesn't want a screen.
The more "bugs" the better.
Why? Because the whole purpose is to meet expectations in order to gain approval & fill up the emptiness of the soul. This is an overactive conscience, a light bulb with lots of bugs & no screen.
A key to understanding the overactive conscience is the word "active." Someone with false guilt
has a conscience that is always on the go. False guilt makes a person restless, continually looking for a rule
to be kept, a scruple to observe, an expectation to be fulfilled, or a way to be an asset to a person or a group.
The idea of being
an asset is a crucial point. When I am an asset, then I am a "good" person & life works pretty well. When I fear I've let someone down, then I am a liability. My life falls apart & I'll work hard to
win my way back into the favor of others.
So an overactive conscience
is like a magnet for expectations. These expectations come from oneself, parents (whether alive or not), friends, bosses, peers, God, or distorted
images of God. False guilt makes the overactive
conscience voracious for expectations.
False guilt is always looking for people to please & rules to be kept.
An overactive conscience
is also seeking to keep the "carrot" of acceptance just out of reach. This "carrot" includes self acceptance & acceptance from others & from God. The guilt-ridden conscience continually says, "Your efforts
aren't good enough. You must keep trying because, even if
your attempts don't measure up, the trying itself counts as something."
For that reason,
an overactive conscience isn't happy at rest. Though rest is the birthright of the Christian, relaxing is just too dangerous, i.e., relaxing might bring down my guard & I might miss signs of rejection.
Besides, acceptance is conditional & I must continually prove my worthiness to others. I can never be a liability if I'm to expect acceptance to continue. It's hard to relax because I must be ever fearful of letting someone down & must constantly work to gain acceptance.
In summary, a person
with false guilt & an overactive conscience spends much of
his or her life worn out. Unrelenting efforts to meet the
expectations of others can have some very negative consequences.
The Consequences of False Guilt
Now I would like to focus
on the consequences of false guilt. An overactive
conscience can keep you in a state of constant uncertainty.
You never know if you measure up. You never know if you have arrived or not. You're always on the alert. According to Steve Shores there are a number of major consequences of false
The first consequence
he calls "striving without arriving." In essence, there's no hope in the system set up by the overactive conscience. You must always try harder, but you never cross the finish line. You seem to merely
go in circles.
Or perhaps it would
be better to say you go in a spiral, as in a downward spiral. Life is a perpetual treadmill. You work hard & strive, but you never arrive. Life is hard work & frustration with little or no satisfaction.
The second consequence
is "constant vigilance." The overactive conscience produces constant self-monitoring. You're constantly asking if you're being an asset to other people & to God. You're constantly evaluating
& even doubting your performance. And you never allow
yourself to be a liability to the group or to any particular individual.
A third consequence
is "taking the pack mule approach to life." An overactive conscience involves a lifelong ordeal in which you attempt to pass a demanding test & thus reveal your worth. The test consists of accumulating
enough evidences of goodness to escape the accusation that
For the guilt-ridden
person, this test involves taking on more duties,
more responsibilities, more roles. As the burdens pile higher and higher, you become a beast of burden, a "pack mule" who takes on more responsibility than is healthy or necessary.
Just as there is no forward
progress (e.g., "striving without arriving"), so there is also an
ever-increasing sense of burden. Each day demands a fresh
validation of worthiness. There is never a time when you can honestly say, "that's enough."
Finally, the most
devastating consequence of false guilt is its effect
not just on individuals but the body of Christ. Christians
who struggle with an overactive conscience can produce weak, hollow, compliant believers in the church.
They're long on conformity
& short on passion & substance. They go to church not because they crave fellowship, but because they want to display compliance. They study God's word not so much out of a desire to grow
spiritually, but because that is what good Christians are
supposed to do. We do what we do in order to "fit in" or
comply with the rules of Christianity.
Steve Shores says
that the central question of church becomes, "Do I look & act enough like those around me to fit in & be accepted?"
Instead we should
be asking, "Regardless of how I look & act, am I passionately worshiping God, deeply thirsting for Him, & allowing Him to change my relationships so that I love others in a way
that reflects the disruptive sacrifice of Christ?"
The Continuation of False Guilt
Next, I would like
to talk about why people continue to feel false guilt
even though they know they're forgiven. After all, if Christ
paid the penalty for our sins, why do some Christians still have an overactive conscience & continue to feel guilt so acutely?
Part of the compulsion
comes from feeling the noose of false guilt tighten
around our necks so that we panic & fail to think rationally
about our situation.
Steve Shores uses
the example of a death-row inmate who has just learned of an eleventh-hour stay of execution. He has just been pardoned, but his body and emotions don't feel like it. He has been "sitting in the electric
chair, sweaty palmed & nauseated, when the wall phone
rings with the news of the reprieve."
He may feel relief,
but the feeling of relief is not total. He is only off the
hook for awhile. He will still return to his cell. The person
with a overactive conscience lives in that death-row cell. The reprieve comes from responding to that guiltdriven voice in his conscience.
For Bill it manifested
itself in a compulsive need to serve others. If he were asked to teach AWANA or to teach a Sunday school class, he would have great difficulty saying "No." He had to say "Yes" or else he
would feel the noose of false
guilt tighten around his neck.
were sad but illuminating. He said: "I felt as though not teaching the class would confirm that I am a liability. The disappointment... would inflict shame I felt as a boy. Disappointing others always meant
that there would be some sort of trial to decide whether
I really belonged in the family."
He went on to tell
of the time he made a "C" on his report card (the rest of the grades were "A's" & "B's").
His father lectured him unmercifully. At one point, his
father declared that "it was Communist to bring home such a bad grade."
Bill didn't know what a Communist was or what Communism had to do with bad
grades. But he did understand that if he didn't bring home
good grades he was unworthy.
Bill even remembered
the 6 agonizing weeks until the next report card. When it arrived he received five "A's" & one "B." What was his father's response? Was it delight? Was it an apology for his previous comments?
Not at all. His
father merely said, "That's more like it." The reprieve
was halfhearted & temporary. In essence, false guilt is a stern warden that may give a temporary reprieve but
is always ready to call upon you to prove your worthiness
We may know that
Christ died for our sins. We may know that our sins are forgiven. We may know that we have value & dignity because we are created in God's image. But we may feel unworthy & feel as
if we must prove ourselves at a moment's notice.
The key, as we
will see in the next section, is to embrace Christ's atonement rather than our own. We must not only know that we are forgiven through Jesus Christ, but act upon that reality so that we live a life thru
grace rather than legalism.
A Cure for False Guilt
Finally, I would
like to conclude by talking about Christ's atonement for us. If we're to break the chain of false
guilt, then we
must embrace Christ's atonement rather than our own. Although that statement may seem obvious, it's difficult for someone with an overactive conscience to truly embrace emotionally.
For such a person,
perfection is the means of achieving salvation. If I can
be perfect, then I will no longer feel shame & I'll no longer feel guilt. This is the
personal atonement that someone with false guilt often is seeking.
The Bible clearly
teaches that Christ's atonement was for our sins. Sin is "any attitude, belief, or action that constitutes rebellion against or transgression of God's character." Clearly sinful man is incapable of making restitution
because our best works are as filthy rags before a holy
& omnipotent God (Isaiah 64:6).
Our atonement must
be made by someone with clean hands & a sinless life.
Christ, of course, fulfilled that requirement & died in our place for our sins.
with false guilt seeks a form of self- atonement. Why? Well, there are at least two reasons: indiscriminate shame & doubt about the character of God. The first is indiscriminate shame.
We should feel
guilty & we should feel shame for sinful
behavior. The problem comes when we feel guilt & shame even when a sinful action or attitude isn't present.
Steve Shores believes
that the "weeds of shame" can begin to sprout even when we have a legitimate need. We then tend to use the machete of false guilt to trim these weeds back. We say, "If I can do enough
things right, I can control this & no one will know
how bad & weak I am."
lifestyle is a way of hacking at the weeds that grow
in the soil of illegitimate shame. The second reason for
false guilt is a stubborn propensity to doubt the
character of God. Many Christian psychologists & counselors
have argued that the reason we may question our Heavenly Father's character is because we question our earthly father's character.
And for those who
have been abused or neglected by their fathers, this is an adequate explanation. But we even see in the Garden of Eden, Adam & Eve doubting God & they didn't even have earthly
So I believe it's
more accurate to say that our sin nature (not our family of origin) has
a lot to do with our tendency to doubt God's character.
This is manifested by
two tendencies: blaming & hiding. When we feel false guilt,
we tend to want to blame others or blame ourselves. If we
blame others, we manifest a critical spirit. If we blame ourselves, we feel unworthy & don't want others to see us as we are & we hide emotionally from others.
The solution is
for us to embrace Christ's atonement & accept what He
did on the cross for us. Christ died once for all (Romans 6:10) that we
might have everlasting life & freedom from guilt & the bondage to sin.
©1996 Probe Ministries.
source: click here
Breastfeeding Rates Up, Along With Guilt
LiveScience's Bad Medicine Columnist
May 6, 9:32 PM ET
Breastfeeding in the United States
is at a 20-year high, with more than three out of four mothers now breastfeeding their infants at least occasionally, according
to a report issued last week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This has some breastfeeding advocates hoping they can scare the remaining 25% into submission with threats of
how bottle-feeding is killing their babies.
Yes, yes, breastfeeding is
superior to bottle-feeding. Just about every mother who prefers homemade soup over powdered soup mix gets this point. The
problem is, the baby doesn't always know.
Some babies refuse breastfeeding.
Or, sometimes mothers cannot breastfeed for various reasons, such as from sore nipples or time constraints, with a demanding
job or demanding toddlers running about their house while their newborn sister or brother needs to stay attached to a nipple for 30 minutes every two hours.
The campaigns touting the wonders
of breastfeeding have been so successful that some women feel ashamed and guilty
that they can't breastfeed. Often they encounter breastfeeding Nazis - neighbors, co-workers, lactation specialists, or even
random strangers, perhaps well-meaning - berating them over the use of a bottle.
That's too bad, because these
mothers are likely doing a wonderful job feeding their babies - a superior, job, in fact, if the baby just fusses at the teat.
Breastfeeding doesn't suck
The science is convincing enough.
In recent years, doctors have managed to associate breastfeeding with all things positive, such as higher IQ, lower rates of childhood obesity, and getting your child to make
you gigantic construction-paper hearts with the words "my mother is better
than the callous wench that bottle-fed you."
In short, mother's milk provides
the best combination of vitamins, proteins, other nutrients and antibodies for the
baby's health and cognitive and physical development. The American Academy of Pediatrics
recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life, followed by at least another six months of partial
breastfeeding. The World Health Organization recommends two years of breastfeeding. (The WHO board, mind you, is comprised
mostly of men.)
Yet breastfeeding is a minor
and certainly not exclusive factor for these touted health benefits, such as fewer illnesses or lower rates of obesity, diabetes
and diarrhea. Intelligence, for example, is more associated with infant-adult interactions, such as reading - which a mother
can do with her toddler while the infant is sucking down a bottle on his own.
Obesity and diabetes are largely
lifestyle concerns, for if over 75% of children are being breastfed these days, clearly breastfeeding isn't doing much to
curb these epidemics. Diarrhea is usually a result of a food- or water-born parasite, more of a problem for infants in sub-Sahara
Africa than in the United States.
Remember, bottle-feeding peaked
after World War II, during a 30-year period when childhood obesity was a
rarity and the mentally challenged bottle-fed baby boomers still managed to create a world filled with technological marvels.
Breastfeeding advocates have
their work cut out for them. That 75% breastfeeding rate falls to about 30% at age six months.
Aside from being told they are evil,
women who bottle-feed could benefit from understanding alternatives. Breast pumps, for example, work for some women who can
pump milk at work and refrigerate for later. Lactation specialists can help when suckling becomes too painful.
No woman needs to feel guilty
about providing her baby healthy formula. The breastfeeding Nazis need to stop crying over spilled milk.
Christopher Wanjek is the
author of the books "Bad Medicine" and "Food At Work." Got a question about Bad Medicine? LIveScience.
source site: click here
How To Eliminate Guilt & Practice Total Forgivness
By Kent Sayre
going to show you how to eliminate guilt & practice forgiveness. So you’re getting two for one today.
Guilt is normally that nagging feeling where you feel bad for something you did. Maybe you did something that you wished you hadn’t or violated someone’s values. Or perhaps you violated your own values. Anyhow, it occurs often for people when they did something that they feel like they shouldn’t have.
Many people waste valuable time, energy & resources feeling guilty. Call me crazy but I don’t believe in guilt. It seems like a bad idea all the way around. If I screw something up or do something
wrong, I want to take action to make it right. I want to apologize & make amends. The key here is taking action to solving
the problem. Instead of letting something eat away at you, take action to solve the problem.
something is wrong, make it right. Do whatever it takes. Putting yourself in your own doghouse & feeling bad solves nothing & it just leaves you feeling bad.
See, many people
are under the false impression that…”Well, as long as I feel guilty about this
& suffer, all will be good.” Nonsense. What a bunch of baloney.
example to hammer home this point – Say my office co-worker Damon gets a shiny new car & proudly shows it off to me. Without thinking, I remark, “That’s sure a nice car Damon. Have you seen the other car that [our
other office worker] Bob is driving now? It sure is a beauty too.”
Damon’s proud smile melts into an offended frown as if I had stolen the limelight from him by pointing out Bob’s car. So Damon is offended that I talked about Bob’s car during “his moment.” Well, feeling offended is his choice. Fine.
So I can go back to my cubicle & feel like a heel. I can beat myself up. I can replay this rotten experience in my mind over & over. Have any of you done this at all?
I can see a few of you
reading this nodding right now as you read this article on your computer screen. Very good. Thanks for being honest. But me feeling rotten doesn’t do any good. Doesn’t help Damon. Doesn’t help me.
I supposed to go up to Damon & say, “Hey, regarding that comment that offended you. It’s ok for me to make those sort of comments as long as I treat myself poorly & beat myself up later. It’s
ok for me to offend you so long as I feel bad afterwards. [This way, we can both feel miserable together. Boohoo.]”
Here’s the right way to go about it. I walk up to Damon & say, “Hey Damon, I really
like your car. I apologize for mentioning Bob’s car when you were proudly showing your car. I didn’t mean to ‘steal your thunder’. I’ll be more considerate in the future.”
So instead of
Damon feeling bad & me sulking in my guilt doghouse, we each feel good.
And then I resolve
to be more sensitive to Damon when communicating with him in the future.
Simple. If something doesn’t work, apologize, make
amends & fix it.
sulking in guilt. Guilt sucks. Guilt
only exists if you believe in it. I don’t believe in it. Eliminate it from your model of the world.
If someone else tries in vain
to make you feel guilty (of course they really can’t
because you control your emotions, right?), here’s what to say to them – “You’re not trying to make me feel guilty, are you?”
This acknowledges that you won’t be a guilt thrower or guilt
catcher. Voila…there’s no place left for guilt to exist!
how to solve guilt. Congratulations, you never have to feel guilty
again. Sure, you’ll still make mistakes. I make ‘em all the time. It’s just that now we can be resourceful
& move forward instead of getting stuck. Yeehaw!
Now I want to tell you how to
practice forgiveness. Forgiving someone is one of the best things you can do. It frees you up to spend your valuable time, energy & other resources are producing fantastic new relationships, creating more happiness & reaching your goals.
Picture a guy dragging his leg as he’s walking because his leg is attached
to an iron ball & chain. This is what happens to us psychologically when we don’t forgive & when we drag along grudges with us.
Have you ever held a
grudge? Boy, I know I have. I used to be a world champion grudge holder. I might’ve even made the “Hall
of Shame For Holding Grudges”.
And it was the
biggest burden to drag along with me on this journey of life.
So what happens when
you cut the chains, free yourself of grudges & practice forgiveness?
of trudging along the highway of life with all these voluntary burdens that we’re carrying, we’re sprinting down
the road of life with more love, laughter & joy in our lives. Does this sound like a plan you’d like to sign up for?
Well then, do
it! Here’s how to practice forgiveness. It’s not rocket science. Make a list of people who’ve wronged you. Chances are, if you’re around someone
long enough, you’ll give them ample opportunity to transgress against you. To do wrong against you.
Well, that includes
probably almost everybody of importance in your life. Right?
Take your list of all these people & forgive them. Forgive your parents. They raised you the best they could for what they know. Forgive your siblings. Forgive your spouse. Forgive your kids. Forgive your boss. Forgive your co-workers. Forgive yourself. Are you catching the pattern here?
Here’s the neat thing. If someone has really done a “doozy”
on you & done something to you which you believe is “unforgivable,” let me share with you a secret that changes everything.
Forgive them…for yourself. Let me repeat that because I really want you to get it. Forgive them…for yourself. Yes my dear reader, you can forgive someone else for selfish purposes! What you’re doing when you’re forgiving them is that you’re saying that you’re no longer willing to spend your valuable time, energy & resources thinking about them & dwelling on them & what they did against you.
Having done that,
you now have plenty of more time, energy & personal resources to devote to achieving your goals, creating more success & forming positive, lasting relationships with those who truly matter in your life.
Forgiveness can happen in a split second. It’s a decision. Just give up the burden. Bam…it’s gone.
Here’s specifically a process to forgive someone. Use it if you like.
1. Call, write, or meet the person & tell
them that you’ve forgiven them.
2. Tell them that you no longer hold whatever it was against them.
3. Congratulate yourself for making the decision to live without harboring grudges anymore.
OR…if you don’t want to personally contact the person. You can forgive them in your mind for the same effect.
1. Close your eyes & relax comfortably.
2. Picture that person in your mind.
Get close to that person & speak to them, telling them that you forgive them.
4. Give them a hug & send them on your way.
5. Congratulate yourself for making the decision to live without harboring grudges anymore.
If you want my hypnosis audio program on forgiveness to lead you thru this process, it’s available at http://www.kentsayre.com
There you have it! No more guilt. Total forgiveness. You’ve mastered the concepts just by reading them. Now put them into action to witness the true magic in your own
If you want to get hands-on, personal mentoring from me, check out www.kentsayre.com/coaching
If you want to pick up a copy of my best-selling
book on how to explode your confidence, shatter your limits & live your dreams, check out www.unstoppable-confidence.com
If you want to be able to talk anyone into anything, anytime, check out www.theultimatepersuasionformula.com
If you want to magnetically attract more customers, clients or patients in one month than you
now get all year, check out www.kentsayre.com/magneticmarketing (perfect
for salespeople & small biz owners)
Thanks for reading my dear
reader. Remember, you're unstoppable!
What is "abject guilt?"
||utterly hopeless, miserable, humiliating, or wretched:
abject poverty. |
||contemptible; despicable; base-spirited: an
abject coward. |
||shamelessly servile; slavish.|
Who's Really Guilty?
I was going to try to write something
profound about the role guilt plays in helping keep our society
ticking over. You know, one of those think pieces that analyzes trends in people's behaviour & shows how that everything
they do can be put down to guilt. But for the life of me I couldn't
think of an opening paragraph to introduce the topic.
I guess I could have started with the family unit & how large a role guilt plays
within that dynamic. How so many people use a blood connection in lieu of decent behaviour as a means of having people pay
attention to them. "Family matters most" & count on guilt to
make you drop everything for them at a moment's notice no matter how they've treated you up until that moment.
Of course I could have just a easily started off by citing how most of North
America's spiritual life is based on guilt. First there's the
whole idea that we're all born guilty because of Adam & Eve
committing that original sin with the apple. Talk about holding the sins of the father against the children.
If that isn't bad enough, how about this scenario: God sends down his only
son & sacrifices him for our sins! Talk about your guilt
trips – look what I did for you, so you'd better behave. Just in case we didn't get the picture
there are all sorts of things you can't do without having to pay some sort of price or doing some sort of penance.
Some folk take it so far that they equate all pleasure with sin & believe
the only way to avoid it is to work constantly & live a life of abject misery. They
must feel guilty for having being born & I'm sure that they
only had sex because they felt guilty about not going forth &
procreating. Heaven forbid they enjoy it though, because that would be a sin & there would be a price to pay.
Religion is an easy target though, so I maybe could have talked about how
government only works because we're made to feel guilty. For
instance, if you dare to disagree with something that the government decrees, you're made to feel
guilty for not loving your country enough. Or if you don't agree with the war the government sends
troops off to fight in, they imply you're guilty of wishing the soldiers harm because you won't support them.
Or on the domestic front when they want to cut taxes and slash & burn
social programming they will either find someway of making the poor guilty of stealing from the rest of the population or
make you feel guilty for stealing the money out of your children's
pockets. If we spend money today what will be left for your children?
It's not just
the government who uses guilt against us. So do far too many environmental groups, human rights organizations, foreign aid fund raisers &
anyone else with a cause. Hell, I'm probably a lot more of an environmental extremist, believer in human rights & social
justice than most of them & they piss me off with their attempts to make people feel
guilty in order to change their ways, give money, or whatever else they want them to do.
What's the point of making some poor guy who needs to drive his barely-working
vehicle so he can go to work & feed his family feel guilty for
polluting? How's that going to change the world or do anything to make it a better place for his kid or grandkids? It's not
any one individual's fault that people in Africa are starving to death or dying of AIDS & whether or not they contribute
ten dollars isn't going to make a bit of difference.
When they show you pictures
of starving orphans living behind barbed wire in refugee camps & say you can make a difference they
might as well be saying it's your fault if they continue having to live like this. Not only is that unfair, it's of course
patently untrue. Hundreds of years of history lay behind the reasons for those children living in refugee camps & only
a change in the so-called developed world's attitude towards the developing world will make a difference.
Now that I think about it some more, I could also have talked
about the reasons why we are made to feel guilty by all these
different people. It's to cover up who the really guilty parties are.
As that guy who worked for Clinton said, "It's the economy, stupid", but probably not in the way you think.
Did you know that in the time since the great Depression there was only a
very short period of real prosperity in the post-world war boom in the 1950's?
Since then there has been a gradual erosion
of the middle class & more & more wealth & power has been accruing in the hands of fewer & fewer people. Governments
can preach all they want about free trade & open markets making a better atmosphere for business which makes it better
for all of us. but they're only getting it half right.
the workers are made to feel guilty for demanding basic needs
like job security, environmental protection, & workplace safety, businesses go where they want & rack up bigger &
bigger profits everywhere around the world. They exploit natural resources, people & environments until they've exhausted
them & move on, leaving worse poverty and political unrest in their wake.
Religions have long used guilt to control their people & people in turn use it to control their families so that they will not run afoul
of the church. In the twentieth century governments who are sponsored by businesses use it to ensure that their patrons have
clear access to everything they need to make their profits.
Most of us really have nothing major to feel guilty about
in terms of society, yet we're constantly inundated with messages from all sides insisting we're guilty of a multitude of sins. Listen to the way messages are delivered by politicians,
preachers & advocates & you can't help but hear the accusation in their voices.
Try telling yourself the next time that it's not your fault, or not the fault of whomever
is being offered up as a scapegoat & see who that leaves you with to blame. It may be that the Church is right & we're
all sinners & guilty of something,
but there are some who are guiltier than others.
July 7, 2007
When I was in my early twenties,
I had a girlfriend I was very much in love with. I spent a lot of time over at her house. One day her mother & I were in the kitchen talking when & I don’t
know how this happened, the subject of religion came up.
I had been brought up a Roman
Catholic & my girlfriend & her family were practicing Catholics, but I'd given up on that religion long ago & was never confirmed. In fact, I had given up on organized religion by then & was exploring other purviews of spirituality. I don’t remember how the conversation got to this point, but I do remember telling my girlfriend’s mom that
I wasn't a Christian.
She looked me in the eyes
& said, “Szandor, you're the most Christian person I know.” That statement left me speechless. I really didn’t
know how to respond & as far as I can remember that is where the conversation ended. It wasn’t until some time later
that I began to understand what she meant.
She wasn’t referring
any religion I practiced or didn’t practice, she wasn’t referring to any belief system I held in my heart, she was referring to my actions. More specifically, she was referring to how I treated her & the
people she saw me interact with. This, to her, was more important than anything I believed in.
I'm not a religious person. I don’t prescribe to any religion, organized or otherwise. That, however, doesn't mean I’m not a spiritual person. Au contraire, I believe myself to be a very spiritual person. I don’t get my spirituality from some five thousand year old tome. I don’t claim to know the mind of some omnipotent supernatural being. I don’t
strive to be a scholar of this scripture or that canon in order to find some illusive, all encompassing truth of the universe.
I don’t pretend that
my beliefs are "The Correct" beliefs & that all others are somehow inferior to mine. I do believe in God. Or the Creator. Or the Universal Mind. Or the Cosmic Muffin at the center of all. Or any of a number of other nomenclatures
which refer to the concept of something more. I believe there’s an intelligence, or perhaps numerous intelligences, out in the cosmos that exist beyond the material, but not
necessarily apart from it.
I believe in the divinity inside me, that I continue to exist even when this corporeal body ceases to function. In short, I
believe in spirit, that we consist of spirit, that spirit is more than the material, therefore I am spiritual. I reiterate that these are my beliefs, regardless of how silly you may think they are & I don't hold them to be fact or absolute truth.
I’ve come to hold
these beliefs by reading & listening to other people’s experiences, observing what goes on around me, from various personal experiences & from a number
of other sources.
I didn’t become
spiritual by reading the Bible, or the Koran, or the Vedic texts, or the teachings of Buddha. Near as I can remember, I’ve
always been spiritual. I enhanced my spirituality thru observation. I’ve looked inward thru meditation. There is inherent beauty in nearly everything that is.
There is ugliness & flaws
nearly everywhere you look. I believe that everything happens for a reason, that everything exists for some purpose. It may be a very small, seemingly insignificant purpose, but a purpose nonetheless. I believe we are on this Earth, experiencing this now to learn & to grow as spirits, not necessarily to prosper as material beings.
As humans, there are a myriad
of emotions to experience, an infinity of thoughts to create. How we, as humans, share these is severely lacking. How can I relate my deepest, most profound sorrows, the utter
despair of desperate loneliness, the abstruse shame of humiliation, the abject profundity of guilt, the complete finality of loss & the perfect self absorption
of self pity?
How can I express the complete
elation of my joys, the unabashed bliss of love, the camaraderie of friendship, the pure ecstasy of laughter?
These symbols that we put
together to create words to try to express the above ideas seem woefully inadequate. Unless you have experienced these things & experienced them with the same intensity I have, it seems impossible to properly
explain the feeling & I haven’t even touched on most other emotions.
The only way I could think of to adequately explain my feelings is to be able to somehow transfer them right to you. Perhaps that’s why we all exist, so we can directly transfer our
experiences to each other while in spiritual form.
Politics, like spirituality, is all around us. It creeps into every aspect of our lives in ways we wouldn’t expect. We have politics in the family
& in the office & even on the various fields of play we may engage in. These areas are where politics get extremely
Politics is all about control & whose rules we follow. Many times we may find ourselves at odds with someone else due to a clash of ideas. They may
want you to do something you don’t want to do or vice-versa, or they may want you to do something in a way you don’t
want to do it. In a healthy situation everyone that needs to will have their input considered.
If things go well one party
will get the other to agree to their point of view, if not an argument may ensue. Perhaps someone will only begrudgingly agree
or perhaps one of the parties will simply leave & go on to do their own thing. Whatever happens, force shouldn't be involved.
All relationships should be voluntary in nature. Using force will usually cause bad feelings & maybe even some unintended consequences.
Sure, even with situations
where some compromise is necessary & some conciliatory stances taken there may be anger & sour grapes, but these are more likely to clear up & all be forgiven so long as force isn't used. The use of force
has a tendency to get into the bloodstream & fester. It affects more than the body & mind of the individual, it affects
Government is force. It uses
coercion & threats to get its way. It instills fear in the citizenry to get them to obey the law, even the laws that cause no one harm & disallow the individual from making
a choice. It forces the individual to obey the methods it designs to keep one “safe” or suffer the consequences of its force. It blindly enforces these laws without due consideration as to the intent of the accused.
It uses threats of imprisonment & financial ruin to force people into plea bargains they shouldn’t take or to steal from
those who have labored hard. It lies to jurors when they're informed they need only judge the guilt or innocence of an accused & not the fairness or worthiness of the law.
It's this use of force, this
abuse of power that rises the ire of the common man. It's this use of force that will lead to the abstruse shame of humiliation. It's this abuse of power & the helplessness one feels when put against it that can lead to utter despair & desperate loneliness.
Fighting such a behemoth can
certainly lead to the complete finality of loss & the perfect self absorption of self pity. Defeating it can most certainly lead to utter & complete joy. The former happens much more often than the latter. These actions brought upon individuals who have never harmed another,
never damaged or desecrated someone else’s property, are callous & destructive.
These actions creep into the
bloodstream of the body politic & their poisonous nature spreads into the societal consciousness although most remain
in denial. Nevertheless, the spirit of the society becomes affected. Some might call it collective karma, but I say it's a
sickness of the soul that can only be cured by empathy & recognition of the psychological abuse that's occurring.
will also use its force on other governments. This isn't necessarily wrong if done in self defense, when one government infringes upon the other by invading its territory. The problem exists with the government that initiates
the force. The government who launches a pre-emptive war is the initiator. It subjects innocent civilians to the most barbaric conditions imaginable simply because one government believes its way of ruling over them is better than theirs.
It visits upon the inhabitants
of other nations terrifying death & destruction. It foments hatred amongst peoples by committing unspeakable atrocities & spewing propaganda to its own citizenry to dehumanize the enemy.
It uses the propaganda of fear to fractionalize its own citizens against each other so that it may tighten its control over the populace.
The spectre of war gives the
government an excuse to vacate its recognition of god given human rights & violate them in the name of “protecting” its citizens. If one believes in karma, than war is perhaps the generator of more bad karma than any other human endeavor. But more than that, war will
warp the spirit of an entire nation.
The principles we hold dear
are abandoned. Atrocities & other behaviors we would normally find repugnant are accepted as necessary. It ' more important we as a society overcome our fear & adhere to our principles despite the perceived dangers or we become what we fear, we become as bad as the enemies we despise.
When this happens, the enemy
wins, if not militarily, then by simply making us change in profound ways. These changes eventually warp the spirit of the individual who is forced to participate, not only for those who actively participate, but
also those who passively participate by paying for such operations or by simply remaining silent & compliant.
Politics, whether on a personal,
business or national level, links to the spirit of the individual in ways hard to fathom & difficult to expound on. I
have tried here to present some of my personal beliefs & how I feel politics & government affect the spiritual aspect of our existence.
To me, the most important law is “Do no harm to others.” I am in no way claiming the above as statements of fact, nor am I asking anyone
to believe as I do. I'm sure there are some people who believe as I do & there are some who believe the above essay to be complete hogwash. I don’t believe we should sit by quietly any longer & just let the government run like everything is business as usual. We should speak
up. I believe this is important not only for our posterity, but also for our eternal spirits. Hopefully I've given a few people something to think about & maybe even a little insight they might not have had before.
source: American Chronicle