Ahh … Guilt, my favorite emotion. Why is it my favorite? Funny you should ask. I love it because it’s not a natural human emotion, it’s something put on us by our family of origin and it’s a tool for control. And control it does. Just about every day I see someone trying to make an improvement in their life that they are hindered in making by feelings of Guilt. Things like change a habit, grow their business, strike out on their own, or even lose weight all get kiboshed or slowed by guilt.
I feel guilt all the time, Jill, where does it come from?
Thank you for asking. It’s socialization and I will give you a great example from my own life. When I was two, my grandma was babysitting us, and she decided it was time for me to go to bed. I said “no” or maybe “hell no” so she picked me up to force me into bed. Being two I used the only tool I had, I punched her in the face. It worked. She put me down.
Parents came home and then the fun really began. Mom laid into me with “why did you hurt your elderly grandmother? You are such a bad person” (my “elderly” grandmother was 45 by the way so that was the first lie). “You hurt her, she was crying, you made her feel so bad, you are a terrible person.” If a two-year-old can make a 45-year-old mother of six cry then she had the problem, not me, so that was lie number 2. Lie number 3, “You broke her glasses; your grandmother has no money to replace them so she may not be able to pay her rent this month and have no place to live and that will be your fault.”
The first two didn’t work but number 3—all lies, by the way—got to me and guilt was now activated inside of me as well as the idea that I was a terrible person who could make an adult cry as well as homeless with winter coming … Mission accomplished, Mom.
And Mom would tug on that string activating that wounding of me being a “bad person” anytime she wanted me to do something I didn’t want to do. It stopped working when I realized what she was up to, though admittedly she still gets me sometimes.
The reason I tell this long story is that we all have this wounding. People feel guilty asking for things they need, spending money on themselves, moving away from family, marrying outside the religion, eating more food than they should, putting their needs first, because family of origin taught them it was “selfish” to do those things.
I have heard this called by many names. Irish Guilt, Catholic Guilt, Jewish Guilt, Mexican Guilt (which I want to say appears to be the most potent version of this because it usually involves a phrase like “You are killing your mother with that …”). Who wouldn’t be afraid of killing their mother somehow by wanting to move to another state!
To heal this, you have to start by seeing it for what it is. Manipulation.
Next you have to begin to catch it when that tool is being activated. The truth is, that whatever it is they are saying they don’t want you to do is objectively not a bad thing, like moving away from family or not seeing Grandma for Christmas. AND you feel really really bad saying no, like deep-down bad even when your logical mind knows there is no reason to feel that way.
OK, so how do I get rid of it?
I wish I could say, “Take one aspirin and it’s gone,” but that training starts so early in life, it’s a hard one to get rid of. The truth is, you have to work hard to heal that one and I have never seen anything that worked even close to as well as hypnotherapy. Mostly because there is always an ugly unconscious phrase, they are anchoring that feeling. In my case it was “I am a bad person.” There are other phrases that get people, too, like “You don’t deserve …”; “You aren’t good enough”; “Who are you to want …”
But the good news is, once you release that belief you also end up healing all the other things attached to it. And you will be stunned to see how many different ways that ugly belief shows up in your life. Particularly in the area of money. I have literally seen people get big raises or spikes in their business just after releasing the phrase “You don’t deserve …” from their unconscious mind.
I know it’s work but, trust me, healing from guilt is about more than just feeling better about yourself; it’s about allowing yourself the freedom to create the most amazing life you could possibly have as well as creating more abundance in your life.
Love yourself enough to do that work, start today.
Jill K Thomas CHT
Soul Connect Hypnotherapy
Author of the books “Tales from the Trance” & “Feed your Real Hunger”
Appointments available Globally by Video Chat