Healing Guilt with Self-Love
I have had a few letters from my newsletter subscribers about how to release guilt and wanted to post up this ACIM Lesson that explains the roots of guilt in more depth. Guilt is such an interesting feeling. In my own experience I can feel myself moving into guilt when I start to judge life and other people. I can actually feel myself separating away from my core sense of well-being as I begin to judge. I can feel myself hurting myself.
Usually if I can catch myself I can sense that I have moved away from my connection to my spiritual center, from my presence to something Larger. If I do not catch myself, I move away from my presence to the God and the inherent Good of life, and I can feel myself getting frightened and defended and even more self-protective.
When I become self-protective I start to worry about only myself and I stop giving my gifts to life. I stop contributing to life and may even disrupt or disturb other people's lives with my fears and judgments. I used to let this self-protection move me into a full depression or and illness where I would withdraw from life and nurse my inner wounds for days.
Now when I catch myself heading into this downward spiral I stop as soon as I start to feel uneasy, and grouchy and disgruntled. I check to see what I am disowning in myself by seeing what I am judging others for. Perhaps it is an unaccepted quality that I fear in myself. Perhaps it is an unmet need that I am trying to get others to meet for me that stems from an old sadness or hurt. When I am judging others, I know I am projecting my own inner hurt onto the world and it is time to love myself. When I have compassion for myself and my own inner pain, I can find the strength to have compassion for myself and the world again.
I am writing a book called A Course in Miracles for Creative Women that is a simple, non-denominational, creative interpretation of A Course in Miracles. This lesson focuses on the deeper roots of guilt.
"My salvation comes from me."
The purpose of this lesson is to understand that nothing outside of you can save you. You create both the sickness and the remedy within yourself. When you are joined with God/Creator within you are inviting all the healing that you need. We can only feel good to the extent that we are connected to God/Creator/Higher Mind. The closer we are to God the better we feel. The further we move into separation away from seeing the Goodness/the God-ness of the world the worse we feel. And it is entirely our choice.
2 times, for 10-15 minutes repeat, "My salvation comes from me," and add a statement to the effect of, "It cannot come from anywhere else."
Close your eyes and think about all the external situations, circumstances, people and self-concepts you have sought to try to make yourself feel better. Think of all the life situations that you thought would "save you". Say, "My salvation cannot come from any of these things (and really sense into the truth that if you had them without a deep connection to your spirit, anything would feel empty). My salvation comes from me and only from me." Your salvation comes from the depth of your connection to God/Creator. The ego mind assumes, "If all of my problems on the outside were changed, I would be ok." However the level of presence to your deeper connection to your Higher Creative Mind is the only thing that can bring you happiness.
Then enter again into meditation, trying once more to travel through the clouds to the light within you. Using the same technique as you did yesterday today, rather than the clouds being your grievances, the clouds are now all of the external things from which you have tried to find salvation - all the outer things you thought would save you from your inner pain.
Frequently remind yourself throughout the day, "My salvation comes from me. Nothing outside of me can hold me back. Within me is the world's salvation and my own." Only your thoughts separate you from joining with God/Creator. You can choose to make room in your mind for this connection.
We are all tempted to lay blame for our problems outside of ourselves. It is part of the human journey to project and blame our our own unprocessed psychological material onto the world. After the guilt of creating this kind of havoc in the world we might begin to realize that we have the power to feel good in any situation if we choose to take every upset back into ourselves and look at our own inner pain. We stay away from God through the projection of our unfelt feelings and unexamined thoughts onto life and others and then we feel guilty for those thoughts. The Course says, "All guilt is solely an invention of your mind".
It seems devastating and overwhelming at first to take responsibility for all of our problems but if we lay blame outside of ourselves we leave ourselves powerless and victimized. It is very deep work to look inside of our minds and to see our part in everything that happens to us.
If you think of your guilty thoughts as clues to what you are unwilling to feel and own inside of yourself you will start to clear the guilt. Often it feels too painful and we do not think we have the strength to look within so we project it outwards. This makes us feel really guilty and tortured because we have continued to deny our own pain and have continued to avoid ourselves. Letting go of guilt involves asking the higher part of your mind to have compassion for your pain and to gather the strength to feel and process it.
We are free when we know we are solely responsible for our inner well-being and we have to do the inner work of meeting all the parts of ourselves that are in denial of our inner pain. Every time we felt pain in our lives we disassociated from our spiritual selves, we stopped believing in a Spiritual Source. The level of our inner pain is in equal measure to our distance from God and our spiritual, emotional and physical wellness.
Yet nothing outside of ourselves will ever rescue us. We heal the pain to move back towards our Source of Life. When we move into spiritual maturity all that we hoped would saves us begins to fall away. If we are not connected to our deeper Source, no amount of money or good circumstances can make us happy. No one will further our connection to Creator unless we first desire it and say yes to it. We each have tremendous power to move our life towards a deeper connection with God/Creator.
The good news is we are meant to be happy. We become sick with our own unprocessed psychological material and when we do not do our own inner work we contribute to a sick world as well. We can choose to do our inner work and enjoy a life of well-being.