How To Overcome Guilt

January 14, 2016

Hi and welcome to this video. In this video I want to talk to you about how to overcome guilt. In earlier videos, we talked about guilt as an emotion. And like all emotions guilt has a story attached to it. Guilt has a certain predisposition to action. Guilt also has a body stance, posture, or physical disposition. And finally the emotion of guilt also has a breathing pattern.

The reason I mentioned these four is all of these collaborate together to create what that emotion looks like for you in your body. Because each of us experiences emotions in a subjective way, that means each of us deals with the results of that emotion in a different way.

And the best way I found to deal with the emotion of guilt is to understand it from a linguistic perspective. You and I, you know, we’ve gone to school, we’ve memorized facts, we’ve learnt facts, we regurgitated facts, we have opinions based on facts. We know facts!

That means to say we know historical and descriptive uses of the language that we can use as a tool. In this case I want to invite you to use language as a tool to generate a life of understanding of your emotions.

I mean I can give you many different ways to overcome guilt. I mean those are just techniques. But I want to give you a tool that you can use to work on it yourself through introspection, through having conversations with yourself, through creating clarity around the things that make you feel guilty.

When you do that, when you use language in this way, you become very specific, you become very clear and you know how the emotion will visit you. You know how the emotion will cause you to react and you will know how to take control of the emotion.

Understanding Guilt As An Emotion

Guilt, I think, is really a very interesting emotion. And once again, I want to go and say that emotions are not good or bad. It’s because you have a physical body that you experience emotions. In fact each of us experience emotions at any moment of our day. The only difference is sometimes we don’t know- or rather most of the times, we don’t know what emotion we are in exactly!

And when you know what emotion you are in, then you have the means to actually work with it and to resolve it in a way that is satisfactory for you, that has some sort of meaning and value attached to it.

So working with guilt; how do you overcome guilt?

Guilt has the story that, “I violated some internal standards of my own!” And this is the crux of it. Guilt is about standards that you have violated that you believe are internal to yourself. So the conversations, using language as a tool, the way to overcome guilt is to work with these standards that you have either adopted for yourself, from external influences, or that you have made it part of your life and your own internal standard of being by whatever ways that you’ve done it.

Guilt is a rich emotion when it’s used for purposes that it was meant to. Guilt protects us from the standards that we have violated. So in one sense guilt nudges us toward the direction that we want to go to in our life. And from that Vedic perspective, this is dharma.

This is what dharma is. It’s the fulfilment of your natural and inherent duty in life. Whatever that may be! And I like to joke and say that, “You gotta do the right thing!” Whatever you do, it is the right thing!

What Is The Emotion Of Guilt Saying?

So guilt in this way, when it shows up in your life, it’s trying to tell you something. It’s saying somehow you’ve gone off the path of dharma. You’ve gone off the path which was meant for you. You’ve gone off and veered into a direction that is not congruent with who you are as a unique observer in your life.

And so the invitation to work with guilt—and of course with all the other emotions—is to go back and look and see what exactly the observer that you are, that unique being that looks up from your eyes, what exactly is that observer saying to yourself? What exactly is the observer interpreting?

And when you use language in this way, by going into the etymology of the emotion, by going into the story of the emotion, then you can understand what causes you to take those actions, what causes you to be predisposed toward certain actions that have created the life that you’re living right now.

So let me take a couple moments just to recap what I said: Guilt is an emotion and as an emotion it’s neither right nor wrong. All emotions serve to inform us of something. In the case of guilt, it informs us that we’ve violated some sort of standard that is internal to us.

Dealing With Persistent Guilt

When guilt is taken to an unnatural extreme, that is to say when guilt persists for a longer period of time, it persists in ways that produces unwanted actions, unwanted results, that are really not satisfactory to enjoying the life that you’re living right now.

So how do you work on that? We have to stop that. We have to stop all of these conversations that prevent us from taking action on resolving those standards that we’ve violated. Going back earlier, I also mentioned that from the Vedic perspective, guilt is the emotion that visits us when we stray off the path of dharma, when we stray off doing what we should be doing, what needs to be doing based upon our experiences, based upon who we are as an observer, and based upon our sense of right and wrong—our interpretation of right and wrong.

So guilt shows up and lets us know that, somehow along our path that we were walking, we’ve sort of transgressed something that’s causing us to react in this way. Emotions—and guilt is an emotion—they show up at any moment of our life. The only thing is sometimes we may not even know what emotion we’re in.

When you understand that the emotion you are in is guilt, then you have the tools, the linguistic tools, to go in get down deep within it and understand why you take the actions that you do.

How To Overcome Guilt - A Summary

So overcoming guilt, at least from the perspective of Ontological Coaching, from the Vedic perspective, using the Vedic frameworks, is really about going back and identifying where it is that you have misstepped, where it is, based upon your standards, that you have transgressed.

And I use the word, “transgressed” not as a bad thing. It’s just the standards that you’ve set is kind of like a boundary that you’ve set for yourself. It’s a code of ethics by which you uphold and which you take action and show up in the world. That boundary has been violated by some actions that you’ve undertaken. So what is that for you? What does that mean for you?

So the way to resolve guilt is to understand what guilt means to you. That the results you want to achieve in life are. And how you can work with that so that you can get back on track with living your life.

I hope this has helped and if you do have any questions or comments, please share them below and I will get to them as soon as I can! I want to thank you very much for your time to watch this video on how to overcome guilt.

And just- finally to wrap up about language. It’s about conversations. Get into conversations with yourself. Get into knowing where things stand for you and achieve clarity with that.

So take care of yourself, have a beautiful day and I’ll see you in the next video!

Bye-bye for now!