I have covered many topics mostly encompassing the realization of who you are, what you can become and how to tap into your full potential. The main purpose of these thoughts is to prompt you into changing a negative mind set, shifting your focus and making a positive impact on yourself and then others. There are very few in which I ask you to be honest about the negative things you carry around with yourselves which hinder progress beyond a certain point - such as un-forgiveness, procrastination and selfishness to name a few. One topic I have not touched on yet forms the basis of this weekend’s thought:
“He that is conscious of guilt cannot bear the innocence of others; so he will try to reduce all others to his level “Charles James Fox "
I am certain that he, who sports access to a free will, has been privy to experience guilt at some stage. As we mature our parents, teachers and friends have had a certain amount of input with regards to our own values and morals. When we go against their teachings or our own beliefs we feel guilty. Guilt acts as an indicator like a red flashing light in the dark. Because a guilty conscience never feels secure we tend to shy away from repeating the action that resulted in the guilt. This process is an excellent motivator to curb bad behaviour in some instances!
Are you feeling guilty about something? If so, ask yourself this question.
Did I consciously decide to take a course of action that I knew could result in guilt but I did it anyway?
Is your answer ‘yes’? As Sir Walter Scott said “O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”. It’s as though we get caught in our own web, and it’s too sticky to get out!
In order to move beyond this kind of guilt, it is imperative that we acknowledge the part we played in the scenario, take the blame and shoulder the responsibility of our actions, whatever the outcome. Once we do this, our mind is no longer drowning in thoughts of self-justification – as in the quote above, but on how to repair the damage done and move forward. We ought to find the reasons why we acted in the manner we did, delve inside our psyche and sift through the triggers that led us up to erring in the first place. We are only human, and the act of self-forgiveness especially in the face of losing something or someone precious to us might be hard to do. We have to realise that we can only be responsible for our own actions and reactions to situations. How others react is their prerogative and choice. This will present an opportunity for us to learn from our mistakes, and ensure we do not travel the same path again. It would surely be a bold idiot who thinks he can attempt the same action and expect a different result (not that it hasn't happened before to some of us!!).
Is your answer ‘no’? The problem with guilt is that it can be unfounded in some instances. Wherever possible we should try to see ourselves as a part of a whole – the cycle of life and happenings. We can only do as much as we can to assist and teach, beyond that we must move the useless emotion of guilt aside and press onwards. We have to remember that some things are beyond our control and we cannot allow ourselves to carry unnecessary guilt around in our minds, as this will hinder our personal growth. We cannot blame ourselves for the puppy that ran under the tyre of the car or the hit and run driver who took the life of our child. We have to forgive ourselves for the actions the thought we should have taken, could have taken, would have liked to take but didn’t. We have to look ourselves in the mirror and accept that bad things sometimes do happen to good people, and chose to move beyond the grip of guilt.
Please take some time to think about your motives for doing things and the results thereof!