GUILT: Your Inner Creatures' Cry for Help
Guilt. A subtle and sneaky bastard, guilt is. It masquerades as nobility, as morality, as virtue, as self-awareness. It's like our brain thinks that if we self-flagellate, we will improve the situation we feel guilty about, and somehow end up feeling better about it. It feels like productive work, beating yourself up over something. Benevolent self-poisoning. You are crushing your energy, depriving yourself of love and presence, because you feel like you deserve it. It's the "right" thing to do. ...right?
When you begin to awaken, the obviousness of the plenitude of ways you "could have done/been better" in your life, relationships, activism, thought processes, etc. can feel like the world is closing in on you. It feels like Life has a magnifying glass up to all the parts of you you've hidden or denied for what could be years or lifetimes, and then as if to add insult to injury, the Sun shines through the magnifying glass and burns awake the parts you didn't even know were there. And since you're not into the denial bullshit anymore, you can feel like an absolute villain who's just been wearing the mask of a "good person".
Everywhere and all the time, there are whispering hisses and siren screams penetrating your vision and telling you all the ways you suck, and all the clear and logical reasons you should feel guilty for it. "You didn't go to that protest march." "You don't spend enough hours making home-cooked meals for your family." "You don't go out enough." "You don't have a regular meditation practice." "You didn't order the salad. Again." "You have too much money." "You spend too much time in self-care." "You don't spend enough time in self-care." "You are a half-hearted spouse/partner." "You throw things away that could be recycled." "You aren't keeping up with all of the terrible world events." "You bought a $7.00 ice cream cone, that is ridiculous." "You still haven't called your mother." --- I don't know if any of these lamentations come to you in your moments alone, but some of them are my constant companions.
It's a strange thing about life...feeling bad about what you did or how you did it or what you didn't do doesn't change what you did, or how you did it, or what you didn't do. However, feeling bad about an action or inaction is a window into a feral piece of your consciousness/life that is asking for your love and attention. What if you softly ask it what it really wants?
Often, the exact thing we feel guilty for not doing is the thing our inner self is longing to free itself and do...to be given its rightful seat at the table. Just as often, the thing we feel guilty for is merely a mask, a story we've used to protect and cover something in us that needs to evolve out of its current state (also known/experienced as death) and into new life. Sometimes things need to die, they need to leave us, and we clutch them tightly while they try to go, creating pain for both parties involved. And sometimes things need to EAT, to BREATHE, and to move freely in our lives so we can co-create together, healing the split in our consciousness. Sometimes, these two are one and the same.
Here is my recipe for transmutation of guilt and integration of shadow. May your curiosity lead you to sit with all of the wild animals in you, in love stronger than your fear.
Approach the wounded wild animal in a non-threatening way. You haven't looked her in the face like this before, and she's never felt this much attention directed at her from such a god-like being. She is terrified and in pain.
Sit down a comfortable distance away, while still close enough to convey the offer of company.
Pull out some berries or a biscuit. Maybe she's hungry, and at the very least she will see that you mean her no harm.
Just sit. This could take a while.
Watch her with soft eyes. You feel your compassion for her deepen, and tears spring from your heart to your face as you feel her trepidation toward accepting love while in a wounded state. You can relate to her...you know damned well what it's like to be in her position.
Your love and acceptance for her grows, and now she can hear you. Can you hear her?
What does she say, in her language without words? A whole new world is in her gaze, and she is welcoming you in. She is welcoming you home, to yourSelf.
~ Eden Marie Peach
IG: @eden.earthytoes.137 & @earthytoes137.arts