Taking Your Power Back from Guilt
Guilt is an emotion we experience that can manifest in helpful or harmful ways. Healthy guilt helps us consider the needs of others, encourages us to be honest and loyal to ourselves and the people we love. It encourages self-respect and can help us act out of compassion and courage.
Unhealthy Guilt makes us feel responsible for people’s emotions and situations when we are not. It can make it hard to see situations and people clearly, promotes self-doubt, and makes us blame ourselves
Guilt can motivate us to do things in a healthy way like not harm others and think our actions through. Guilt defined is the emotional result of unfavorable conduct but that is a far cry from why many of us experience it.
What we are talking about is debilitating, power-draining guilt, the kind that is a thief of joy. Its function can take us away from ourselves and our senses. Guilt can feel all encompassing, like it takes over the mind and brings with it this emotion close to sorrow, regret or remorse.
If you’re experiencing guilt. You are taking responsibility for whatever it is that’s happening. There are two types of harmful guilt – guilt we put on ourselves and guilt put on us by others. Here are some ways guilt can render us powerless and what you can do to bring your power back from its stronghold.
Guilt can put you in a disempowered state.
When we are guilt tripped by someone or something the relationship itself has leverage. Without this leverage we wouldn’t experience the emotion. Guilt is the emotion that blocks the sacral chakra which is the energy center of bonding or relations with others. There has to be some kind of underlying dependency for guilt to work as a motive and this dependency may not be healthy. This can also be a dependency to some kind of belief or standard. If it is not in your best interest this dependency is a harmful one and it is solely up to you to determine that.
So what happens when you do not give into the guilt? Your being ‘self-centered’ right? And in this case guilt comes with a huge price- your independence and personal growth. Guilt can be emotional manipulation. Often when someone tries to make you feel ‘guilty’ or ‘bad’ they have a motive behind what they are doing. It is so important to know that this means that this person is being deceptive regardless of whether they mean too or how well intentioned they believe they are being. Because guilt is based in emotion and not logic there is a lot of grey area, and it can be difficult to navigate through. Guilt can be used as avoidance. This one is hard to swallow but this is where taking your power back really comes in. Letting guilt completely take over can be a way to avoid our own responsibilities by being enslaved to something else and not be willing to steer our own ship. Guilt is another way to ‘not be good enough’ and it is important to reflect on our relationship with guilt, if we feel in debt to people or that we have some underlying need to operate as some kind of personal savior to someone. Guilt can be false obligation. Being a sensitive person and knowing someone is struggling or down does not mean you have a duty to take on their emotions or problems and this can be a hard lesson about setting boundaries. Taking responsibility for others’ emotions can actually harm you and that other persons opportunity to grow. This is why the sacral bonding chakra is healed by forming healthy boundaries and attachments. Not recognizing the imprints of guilt can create deep feelings of resentment that is poison to our wellbeing. Tips for Healing Guilt- It is not that these aspects of life go away, or people necessarily change but it is our perspective of them and what they mean for our inner experience that can change. Guilt does not need to interfere with how we are meant to live our best most honest lives. Honesty sees through guilt, the more honest we can be with ourselves, our feelings and our communication the less power guilt has. We have to take an honest look at the situation as a whole, talking this through with someone you love and respect who you have a safe space with will allow you to see things more clearly. Sometimes its hard to even admit how we feel because we believe saying it out loud will hurt someone. Admitting this will give you an emotional release and sense of liberation. Create boundaries with your sense of self in mind. Again, healthy guilt will show us that we do need to consider the other people in our lives but it becomes hurtful when we push our own needs and wants aside constantly. Creating boundaries without guilt is when we can stand behind what we are doing because we know these boundaries are respecting our own needs and desires. With creating boundaries comes people who aren’t happy. They are used to you being a certain way in your relationship and feel “hurt” by your behavior. This is when more guilt will set in, you feel bad for hurting or disappointing the ones you love. We are all looking for acceptance. But if the people really love you even if they are hurt at first they will understand in time and come around. If they don’t, these people do not have a place in your life as you will always be putting their needs and wants above yours. After we are able to create boundaries, we need to once again release control of what’s happening. We cannot control the outcome of our relationships with others and must learn to accept the outcome. Letting go of others’ opinions of us will release this guilt as we are no longer taking responsibility for others and things we cannot control. Next time you feel guilt take a moment and see where it is showing up inside your body. Taking this a metaphysical route these kinds of emotions live in our hips and lower back. Doing stretches or yoga that focus on this area can bring emotions out to the open or soothe tension. Ultimately, step into your light – protect your boundaries and your life. If you choose, your relationships will be different now going forward, you will not tolerate unnecessary guilt from others knowing your energy is needed to fuel these dynamics. When you start feeling guilt you can identify if its healthy or harmful and do what needs to be done to find balance. Guilt will no longer rule your life or your relationships, you can easily move through these emotions.