Guilt is a tricky emotion to navigate, because it’s sneaky. Most times, we are not even sure how it was placed there. What actions allowed this feeling to manifest? Because guilt is an emotion that we, the individual, are experiencing, it is natural for us to blame ourselves for its placement. This is not always the case! Humans crave control; placing guilt upon others can be used as a powerful manipulation tool. Because of the power that guilt possesses, it is vital that we ask ourselves, Why am I feeling this? and Is this guilt here because I put it here or because it has been placed there by someone else?
Family usually is a significant player in this game because of our culture’s rhetoric toward family values. (See: “Family First”, “Blood is thicker than water”, etc.) This can be a comforting mantra for someone who vibes with their family. But for spiritual beings who feel a disconnect from family, or even worse, resentment, this stigma is unhealthy. We take a step up the unhealthy ladder when family members recognize this disconnect and repeatedly speak up about it. And after years of this repetitive nagging, what has been instilled without our awareness? Guilt, guilt, guilt.
Clearly, the forced placement of guilt is not isolated to the fam. Manipulative friendships, toxic relationships, boundary-breaking co-workers and employers… the list goes on. Because of the hodge podge of relationships to which this can manifest, it is key to find others who have marginally parallel connections with people. In the beginning of our friendship, Juan and I recognized the eerie similarities between our family structures. Eventually, we started to see similar patterns (varying degrees of healthy verses naw) of the relationships that we held in that family structure. This connective piece helped both of us to recognize what feelings belonged and which ones needed the boot.
We cannot be our connected selves, our intuitive goddesses, our self-awareness gurus, if we are smothered with the “I should’ve/could’ve/didn’t/haven’t”s. Ask yourself the important questions. Find the source of the guilt. Connect with others who have similar experiences. Navigate through that nonsense. Talk it out with the guilt-er themselves, if applicable. Watch how wonderful life can be when you release that nonsense to the universe.