“Guilt is to the spirit what pain is to the body.”
~~ Elder David A. Bednar
Guilt…. Who doesn’t have it? Even my young dog appears to feel guilty when she has done something that she knows is against the canine rules. But in truth, she’s just being herself—a dog. So, although I need to scold her at times for her safety, it is difficult to stay upset with her for long.
Soul Health is all about “aligning with spirit for radiant living”. In other words, it is about living a life that fully aligns with who you are, your values, and what is best for your overall health. But so many people live under a shroud of guilt that it makes it impossible to live completely in their truth as well. This only mis-aligns them in their experience of life and often causes them to act in other ways that don’t line up for their optimal health.
Take, for example, the common challenge of emotional eating. Many people use comfort foods to “eat away their hurt, frustrations, and anger” instead of speaking their truth, asserting themselves to meet their needs, or setting boundaries that will assure their own self-care. Then, because they already feel misaligned, they seek comfort in foods that will take them even further away from a sense of peace, despite the fact that their initial thought was to lessen their discomfort. I see this cycle almost daily in my therapy practice.
According to the dictionary, guilt is defined as “Having committed an implied offense”. Take a minute to think about this…. Is it really an offense if you live in your truth? Does saying “no” imply that you’ve committed a crime? Are you wrong for wanting to create a life that is aligned with your values and needs? How much time do you spend thinking about how your behavior would impact others rather than simply choosing what is right for you?
Allowing yourself to feel guilty is the ultimate betrayal of your soul. When we agree to do something that we don’t want to do, or feel guilty for attempting to take care of our needs, our soul aches. These soul wounds can accumulate to a point that guilt runs our lives. Instead of allowing your innermost ally to lead the way, you are essentially choosing to mis-align yourself, and thus, choosing to lead anything but a radiant life.
Are you staying in a relationship out of guilt? Are you putting your needs aside for the sake of someone else’s? Are you afraid to say “no”? Do others intentionally attempt to make you feel guilty when they don’t get their way?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then perhaps it is time to assess how you might be choosing to mis-align your life by living through guilt. Your soul health is your responsibility and yours alone. If you stumble over the same guilt-related situation over and over again, your soul is likely trying to get your attention so that you can evolve beyond a perceived responsibility and move into a much more aligned and radiant life.
As Charlie Luken stated, “It is not about guilt or innocence. The point is, it is time to turn a page.” If you are committed to soul health, then, the time to outgrow guilt is now.
For more on how guilt betrays your soul, watch my You-Tube video: