Letting Go of Guilt

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[00:00] So today we're going to talk about when it's appropriate to have guilt, when it's not appropriate. Tab Guilt, why we stay in guilt too long, and what we should do about it, what the purpose of guilt really is, and mostly what to do when we feel guilty. We're going to start with number one, what is the purpose of guilt? There's some researchers who have studied guilt and one of them was the National Institute of Health and they published a study on the evolution and the purpose of guilt and they basically said that the purpose of guilt is to help us to increase cooperation in our tribes, in our household. Things like that. And guilt is an unpleasant emotion and it's a deterrent. And so there's a purpose for guilt. But the main piece of this that I want you to understand is the part about guilt that goes haywire and how this happens in our brains.

[01:03] So think about this. In 2012, the association for psychological science found that the more guilt prone people are, the more likely they are to behave morally. If you've ever had a child who you know feels guilty, I want you to know that what's going on in their brain is self punishment already. Guilt is self punishment. It's the self punishment. Our brain that says your wrong. Do something different, right? When my kids receive a correction and they need instruction, when they receive correction, I tell them a few things. I say to them. Number one, we all make mistakes. The second thing I tell them is your love and it's just to learn from. And I want you to tell yourself that as well. So let's talk a little bit about when guilt goes haywire, right? We feel that we will have a loss of support which we so desperately need if we don't do the right thing or what someone wants us to do.

[02:18] And you think about a child who depends on grownups for everything. So a loss of support is particularly terrifying and particularly particularly powerful to get a child to do what you want, right? So I want you to think a little bit about how our guilt goes haywire and how you're conditioned to feel so afraid or so terrified that you've done something wrong and how this sets up feeling more guilt than you should. All right, let's talk about how we're all raised. So I want you to think about, am I feeling guilty because someone taught me I should be feeling guilty about this, or is it really my own value system? And I want you to think about how many people have conditioned you to do what they want you to do by making you feel guilty. Now I want you to also ask yourself, is this guilt really like ridiculous or is it right?

[03:32] Okay, that's another question to ask yourself. I want you to think now about how we're conditioned to feel guilty about things in our upbringing. So think about communities so you like me, probably are very compassionate person in a good natured person in. Tend to believe that people have your best interests at heart. I'm here to tell you, although ultimately everything's working out for you and we'll we'll work out for your good. There's a lot of people that don't have your best interests at heart. They want it to make you do things that they want to do. Even the best intended people can't know what's good for you, right? But in some of our communities there, they're based on this or authoritative structure with rules and punishments that benefit a few at the top. Right, and so you've been conditioned to think, oh, I need to feel guilty if I don't do what these people tell me to do.

[04:41] Question that. Is that role for you for your benefit or is it just for their. Should you feel guilty about that? There are social rules that we have to follow, but this is about guilt. Should you be made to feel guilty about someone that's asking you to do something that's for their benefit but not for yours? I want you to think about that. The other thing I want you to think about is religions. We've all been raised in different religions. I was raised in a strict Christian upbringing. It was very rules oriented, and so I was made to feel guilty all the time about not following the huge long list of rules that was my religious upbringing and I had to. First of all, I said, is this true? Is this what God is saying? Number one, and number two, is this the right thing for me?

[05:31] So I want you to think about your religious upbringing too. And the other thing to think about is school systems. So school systems can impose rules and regulations and they can make you feel bad about all kinds of things, right? And then even nations, we have authoritative structures. Many cultures were built upon keeping them power with a few and oppressing the mini. And I want you to think about those rules that they've taught you to follow. I want you to challenge them in your own conscious, right? So if you think about all those things put together, there's a lot of things in your head that's causing guilt that shouldn't cause guilt there. What other people have expected of you to get what they want. Now there's another one, the last one I'll talk about to get you to think it's just gender roles, so gender roles.

[06:28] I was raised in the south and I was raised that the women should be more compassionate and that they should serve men and feel really guilty if they displeased a man, and this can happen with men as well, so I had like this trifecta and my upbringing in particular. I was raised in the south and told that my job as a woman was to please men and if I displeased them, I was doing something wrong. I was also sexually abused as a child and my abuser told me, you are wrong to complain about this or tell anyone because what you've done is going to hurt your mother. So think about those kinds of. This is like the extreme when you're abused in when it sets up in your mind about guilt. Right? And then I had the deeply religious upbringing. I'm here to tell you that I've overcome a lot of this guilt.

[07:25] That's why I can bring you this information and think things still come up. I'm really speaking out and I found my voice now and I still have to think, should I feel guilty about that or should I be afraid to say that right? Maybe you didn't have any of the things I had, but I just want you to think about that you did have people tell you to feel guilty about things that you shouldn't feel guilty about, so use your brain to really question all this stuff. Okay? Now, when you feel guilty, this is what you do. First thing you do, when you feel guilty, you can feel it in your body by heaviness. You know what guilt feels like or it's just a thought. I've done something wrong, right? Number one, I want you to question it. Should I feel guilty about this? Number one.

[08:16] Number two, there is a time when you have violated your own value system and you do feel guilty about what you've done. What I want you to do here, after you've gotten clear on your own core values and you say, I do feel guilty about this, is you say, Yep, I've done something I regret. That's okay, and then I want you to use those tools. I tell my own children, right? Everyone makes mistakes. You are good, and this is a growth experience, right? First of all, you tell yourself those three things. I want to tell you one last thing that you're gonna. You're gonna love and I hope it really makes you think so. There was a Princeton study in 2013 that said, guilt is a hugely powerful emotion, that we actually feel physically, right, that we do genuinely feel heavy in our bodies with the weight of the deeds that we've done, that we're experiencing guilt from. So the more you feel guilt, the more it's going to weigh you down, the more it's going to prevent you from solving it or becoming a better person. So your work is really to let yourself go of the guilt and I hope that gives you permission. If you're a person who wants to do better to let it go and to move on, right? It's made you a better person. You're going to grow. Let go and move on. I hope you liked this. Okay? Have a beautiful day. Y'all see you later. Bye.