I haven't written in a while and so much has happened in the world. I have, however, been busy writing a book that I hope to release soon. I hope you have all been well.
I was reminded the other day, when I was working with a client, that there was a purpose for each and every emotion we felt.
Fears try to keep us alive and safe. Even guilt attempts to keep us within our moral boundaries so we can look at ourselves in the mirror each day without cringing or looking away. It seeks to cultivate within us a pursuit of improvement; a tweaking of our internal programming.
Of course, as humans we are experts at holding onto things. It's like we ignore the word ‘hot’ in this game of hot potato. And there we are getting burnt, not knowing what to do next.
The logical instinct is for us to delete, erase or jettison guilt away from us as far as possible. That's perfectly understandable. However, since it has a purpose just as much as every other emotion that we have, guilt in some form or other is likely to come back down the line even if its current version is no longer there.
Wouldn't it be a better solution to rather amend our personal label of what guilt is to one that would serve us better? I'm talking about changing the emotional signature associated with it by acknowledging its originally intended purpose. It was never there to harm us but rather to keep us on a path that would keep us safe both externally and internally.
When I think about the opposite of what guilt is the word, no, the feeling that comes to me, is Acceptance. Acceptance is acknowledging what has happened in the past, even if only a few moments ago, without lasting emotion. As my client said, “It’s learning from the experience and then moving on.”
Imagine the impact of accepting what we've done, who we are, who others are - with their own reasons based on their histories and the roads they've walked on - on the world we live in today and we will live in tomorrow. Challenge yourself by jumping ahead to your next twelve months, your next five years, or even long
er having turned what you used to call guilt into acceptance. What would your life look like? Would you be happier? Would you be more tolerant of yourself and of others?
You could also challenge yourself by intercepting any potential feelings of guilt when they come and turning them into feelings of acceptance instead as soon as they arrived.
The beauty about accepting the past is that you can always choose to do something different NOW.
Lots of love to you all, Bruno.