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"Peeling Back the Layers"

Insight Blog


Evolving Guilt...

“I don’t want to just revolve.

I want to evolve.”

—Matthew McConnaughey

I’m not even sure where the impetus to write about guilt came from…maybe from a show I watched recently, where someone was riddled with guilt and how stuck and self-destructive they were. It struck me that they were totally missing the opportunity that guilt was offering them. The airspace was dead around them, stagnant, not even breathing, going nowhere. Sounds pretty melodramatic, but this is how it felt to me as I watched. I remember wanting to yell (or did I?), “Hey, it’s right there in front of you! Take it! Learn the lesson! Change your life!”

Who really knows how guilt got started. Religion is blamed, family is blamed, society is blamed. Somewhere along the way we connected up guilt with feeling ashamed. Remember when your parent used to say to you, “You should BE ashamed of yourself!” They didn’t even say we should FEEL it in the moment. They said we should BE it! I know they had good intentions, that us kids would learn right from wrong, good from bad, and be good people. I get it. When we’re young, though, we just don’t have the tools to weed through that complex psychic field. We just do what they say. We be ashamed, and feel guilty. And this becomes a way of life, constantly defaulting back to feeling guilty about something, even if we don’t know what. Some of us at a young age do tap into some deeper wisdom about this, which usually causes us to rebel and find our way on our own terms. I was one of those. I was determined to figure things out my own way with my own intuition, and while I think that was a good thing I’m sure I also missed plenty of insight from my elders. Not to mention creating some household drama.

Now, all these decades later, and after training and practicing and li