A Window is Where the Wall is Absent

The life impulse to express and to connect arises in me and in all of us. This blog is a celebration of these life impulses. Please feel free to join in the conversation or to just visit. There is a Family Photo Album beneath the posts so you can "meet" my family and I. Welcome!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Guilt



I notice that there is a strangle-hold of guilt on every cell in my body and it has been there for decades. Unnoticed. Wow. What is constant becomes invisible and completely unnoticed.

It's a nameless, constant guilt, and it has been choking me for a long time.

And what am I guilty of?

One thing only. I'm guilty of not doing all the things I think I should do.

When I wash the dishes I'm guilty of wasting water by letting the tap run. When I drive through McDonald's I'm guilty of destroying the environment and my body. The drip of guilt in the veins is continuous.

I try to out run it, to throw off the dreadful weight of guilt in a thousand ways every day. I donate to charity. I pay the fine for my transgressions by punishing myself with an internal barrage of self-criticism. I meditate, I pray, I read, I try to find some refuge from the guilt, I rest in the purity of open awareness. I clean the house, hug the children, give undivided, silent, loving attention to the people I work with, look my husband in the eyes and tell him he is the best man I have ever known. I scurry frantically from one good act to the next all day long in an effort to stamp out the feelings of guilt, as if I were stamping out a fire in the house.

Still, the guilt hunts me, it finds me like predator finds prey.

I'm telling you this because I see this circle of running from guilt  has been the substance of my life as seen from the point of view of the mind.

Guilt is a mind-created fiction and it drives people nuts, me included. "Might is right" says guilt as it uses whatever tactics of coercion it can to manipulate the body towards the idealized behavior.

Guilt is supposed to be the inner police man that prevents wrong acts. Yet maybe it is the fuel that propels acts of destruction.

I've been running from guilt all my life and now I am looking at it directly. In this looking it disappears.


~

9 comments:

No One In Particular said...

Hey Colleen, this guy Alain Forget is big on guilt. He's my old shrink's spiritual teacher, and of course I think it's all a lot of hooey (as is my wont), but it seems very pertinent to your post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgbsCT4OiEE&feature=player_embedded

Enjoy!

MeANderi said...

Such awareness!
The Aliveness within embraces it all. The dream surely becomes the burden of guilt of "me" - the inner torment of how we "should" be... And then the realization that it all dissolves in the loving embrace of pure Seeing - the pure Embrace - the pure Love for all that we feel and experience.

LoveLove to you! Christine...

Colleen Loehr said...

Awareness becoming more aware of the guilt does help the guilt to evaporate...It's fascinating to see this process. Awareness is the universal solvent. Thanks Christine and Suzanne very much for your comments. Suzanne I look forward to watching the video tomorrow...now it's time for some guilt-free sleep :) Christine I love what you write about the Aliveness within which embraces it all- thank you!

doreen said...

anxiety dreams...even guilt in sleep time...LOL...
Enough already!!...Our birthright Is just to BE (100% guilt free)!!
one breath...the guilt-free zone!
Love,
d
XOOX

Anonymous said...

Your post about guilt sure resonates with me.

Nothing can be done about the rising or passing of guilt, but no matter it is always outshone by awareness.

Toyin O. said...

interesting post.

http://youcanfacetodaybecausehelives.blogspot.com

Alton said...

"One thing only. I'm guilty of not doing all the things I think I should do."

Hi Colleen.
With me it is not only doing the things I think I should do, but all the actions that I feel were not the right things to do.

In my view a certain amount of guilt is a positive motivator for more skillful behavior.
However, when it captures an inordinate amount of mental space then maybe it becomes compulsive.
5 Masters have said they have wiped out all my karma from previous lives and also all the karma up to the day of the initiations. That could be a lot of bull, but
if it is so, then my continued guilt from those previous incidents is misdirected.

Aloha means love
Alton

P.S. I would not convict you for anything you feel guilty about because you are very pure in my eyes.

su said...

when i caught myself feeling guilt for the rust on the statue of liberty - then i figured it was time to dispense with it.

Mary said...

I really like this one Mom. So true! Thanks!

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Greetings. I am a psychiatrist working at a state hospital, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at University of Missouri Medical School. I am also a wife and mother of three grown children. Qigong has profoundly changed my life for the better. I am interested in connecting with other people interested in qigong.

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