“For a moment he felt good about this. A moment or two later he felt bad about feeling good about it. Then he felt good about feeling bad about feeling good about it and satisfied, drove on into the night.”
(Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy # 4 “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish”)
What is guilt and why do we feel it?
Guilt comes from the need of man to belong to a community, to receive the approval of others, to be liked. Guilt has to do with social unwritten laws, with the expectations of others for us, with the idealized image we have “formed” for ourselves, but also with our ethos.
So, many of us have been guilty of “breaking” our diet, eating that chocolate.
But how many of us have stopped this day with just one chocolate?
Most of us, felt guilty, for that mistake we made and did not resist the instant pleasure of the chocolate melting in the mouth, even before it actually did.
Yes … the feeling of guilt was wonderful!
It was like rewarding ourselves for our correct judgment.
“Yes! This is how you MUST feel! ”
We immediately felt a sense of fulfillment that we felt guilty.
Finally, we continued eating the whole box of chocolates.
This happened for a simple reason. We have not trained ourselves to express clearly what we want. We have confused our “wants” with the “wants” of others.
We try to hide out “wants” behind our guilt, to forget them, to get away from their chatter. We forget to have full consciousness of our actions, forget to live the NOW, creating a vicious circle of excuses and guilt. We feel the need to search for excuses rather than to act consciously.
Many of us are looking for the solution at self-awareness seminars, others to psychological support, but always making the mistake to define themselves through the eyes of others. The solution is to look in the mirror, either literally or with the help of a Life Coach, accepting that the solution is somewhere inside us. It is what we know about ourselves, our instinct.