Loyalty to Guilt

By Anthony Gold

Growing up we had a dog – a Basset Hound – that we named Arnold. Arnold had long droopy ears and the saddest brown eyes. But Arnold was anything but sad.

Like most dogs, Arnold lit up whenever any of his “owners” (family) entered the house. His unconditional affection and undivided attention were unbounded.

Arnold was the epitome of loyalty.

While each of us may not demonstrate the same level of outward affection as dogs, we all have our loyalties: Friends. Spouse / Partner. Family members. Social causes. Job.

And guilt.

And all of guilt’s evil stepsisters: anxiety, stress, drama, and fear.

We subconsciously choose guilt as a way to punish ourselves for our sense of unworthiness. The deep-down belief that I’m not good enough.

Guilt is so insidious. We believe that by feeling guilty we can somehow alleviate the pain of our undeserving self-concept. But guilt does just the opposite – it perpetuates and further reinforces exactly what we’re trying to get rid of.

And yet, we are loyal to it. Guilt has our allegiance like a dog to its master.

Freud called guilt “the most powerful of all obstacles”.

But not an insurmountable one.

The first step is looking at the “fruits” of choosing guilt: anxiety, stress, drama, and all the other negative feelings in our life. By consciously recognizing the feeling (feeling the feeling), we begin the undoing process.

Once we become the observer of exactly what we’re feeling, we can then gently say to ourselves, “I no longer want to choose that negative feeling. It doesn’t serve me at all.”

From there, our conscious thoughts are directed away from guilt and toward much more loving, helpful, peaceful emotions.

And the more we practice withdrawing our loyalty to guilt, the more blissful we feel.

Join me in Monday’s class where we’ll explore our loyalty to guilt and how we can choose a different master. I look forward to seeing you then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *