Why We Should Not Feel Guilty

We should not feel guilty when we make a wrong decision. Guilt is a concept designed to keep us down. It keeps the wrong decision alive in our lives, and causes it to manifest again and again. It does this by taking the past and connecting it to the future. In other words, the future is impacted by the past because of the guilt we carry.

For example, let's say Bob makes the wrong decision to withhold information from Betty, she finds out, gets upset, and now Bob feels guilty. He sees how upset Betty feels, and he feels a sense of responsibility and remorse over his actions. This guilt that he feels will carry forward. Every time he thinks of the situation, he feels bad about it. He ruminates over the situation in his mind, and thus keeps it 'alive' long after the situation has ended. Bob is now more likely - not less likely - to repeat this bad decision in the future because he A.) has not forgiven himself, B.) has identified himself as a guilty person who withholds information from others, and C.) has not left the wrong decision in the past. If the scenario arises again to withhold information from Betty, Bob will likely choose to do so again. He will either justify it with an assumptive reason (like fearing that Betty will be upset if she learns the information), or he will unconsciously make the decision without even knowing why he is doing it.

When we feel guilty about something, then we subconsciously feel we deserve punishment and we will enact that punishment on ourselves by deciding wrongly in the future. We need only look at our own lives to identify this as truth. Those instances where we still feel guilty are generally not one time occurrences, but rather patterns and cycles of wrong decision making. It is the same concept as to why criminals have a high rate of recidivism - because they were never properly rehabilitated. It is the same reason why addicts keep running back to the very thing that makes them feel so bad. Guilt locks us into a loop of wrong decision making.

When we feel guilty, we are giving in to the fear that we are a bad person. We place judgment on ourselves. That wrong decision stays alive in our mind and we set ourselves up for punishment in the future by repeating the wrong decision. The ego's goal is to create unconscious chaos in our lives, and feeling guilty supplies the ego with a weapon. Feeling guilty is ingrained - we are taught that wrong decisions need consequences. We are taught that punishment corrects wrong decision making. It is the same concept of sacrifice and suffering - we supposedly redeem ourselves through punishment. These concepts are wrong. They are the insane reasoning of the ego! We were not created to suffer! We cannot gain redemption or salvation through sacrifice or punishment! Nor can we correct our wrong doing through guilt. How can we feel good in the future by feeling bad now? We need not suffer to generate a good life. Guilt will only set us up for repeat offenses. Guilt will keep us down by keeping the wrong decision alive.

We may tell ourselves that by feeling bad about something we are guaranteeing to not do it again because we don't ever want to feel this bad again. However, this is misguided thinking. We make ourselves a slave to that guilt. We say we never want to feel that way again, yet we feel that way every single time we think about it. We say that feeling guilt over this will make us less likely to repeat it in the future, yet it keeps us in a state of fear regarding this particular action to the point where we ultimately repeat it despite our best intentions.

The best way to handle wrong decision making is to acknowledge that we decided wrongly, realize that this was a mistake that needs loving correction instead of punishment, assert that we do not wish to make this wrong decision again in the future, come up with ways to help us to decide better, and then forgive ourselves completely - abandoning all fearful, bad feelings of guilt and thoughts of punishment. Forgiveness and self-compassion absolves the guilt. Forgiveness and self-compassion makes punishment unnecessary. In the future, when the situation arises again, we will be more likely to be aware of it. Our conscious awareness of it helps us to make a better decision. If something happens and we decide wrongly again, then we are free to acknowledge our mistake, forgive ourselves, and choose to decide differently next time. We are human beings, exempt from perfection. Feeling guilty will guarantee that we decide wrongly in the future. Forgiveness and self-compassion provides us the opportunity to decide differently.


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