One of the most unpleasant sensations that a human being can experience is guilt, which makes me think and torture myself with what would have been or would have done.

According to Buddhism, guilt is one of the most harmful emotions. This is a very powerful emotion that tends to break our internal balance because feeling that I have contributed to the misfortune of another being or myself, or projecting my own mistakes without knowing what to do with them by refusing to correct them, is very unpleasant because thoughts arise like “it is that I did this unintentionally, or said this, or I am a bad person, or if I have done, or said, etc.” and the remorse becomes unbearable. The question is: can you live condemned to reproach yourself for this all your life, or is there a possibility of liberation?

What is guilt?

Guilt is nothing more than an emotion that arises from conditioning. We are conditioned to feel bad when we do something wrong, or we think we did something wrong. It usually leads us to depression and frustration instead of changing it or improving it.

Guilt is based on the non-acceptance of oneself or the situation in which I find myself. It is that lack of acceptance that nothing could be avoided, everything is simply as it is, nothing can be changed because things happen as they should. Living in the past with that feeling of guilt is also a cause of suffering.

It is not good to carry feelings of guilt from the past. We must understand that. The first thing I have to do is identify it, accept it, and let it go.  No, it is not as easy as it is said, but it is not impossible either.

Guilt has a very low frequency.

I have to open my mind and my heart to observe all those stories that I am creating in my mind, pay attention to that moment and place, and understand that I could not have done it differently because we always act the best we can. That’s how it had to be.

I have to be compassionate with that demand and realize that it is not me, that it is conditioning, that we all have inherited ideas about how things should be and when they are not fulfilled as they should be, that is when guilt arises.

Guilt is an emotion that has a very, very low frequency. That’s why it’s impossible to think clearly when we feel it.

How to get out of guilt?

We must understand that what we did or could have avoided are just thoughts, not reality. The guilt dissolves when we focus on our being and understand that everything we do, we do it from the level of consciousness that we have. We cannot act differently because this comes from a thought.

This generates a feeling, an action, a reaction that has nothing to do with who I am. It’s just part of our evolutionary process and any fact has the potential to teach us something. That’s why it had to be so and accepting it frees us.

I have to take that sensation and observe it as I would observe a stone in my shoe that prevents me from walking. If you look at the stone, it is something external, something that does not belong to me. In the same way, that feeling of guilt, when I observe it, I make it present. And I realize that all this is an illusion of my mind and that, by accepting the guilt as my mind presents it to me, I will suffer, and nobody wants to suffer on this planet, right?

Let’s go back to impermanence

Guilt arises when I am convinced that I have made an irreparable mistake, and the torture of being blamed lies in thinking that any problem is permanent, and the first step to recognizing suffering is that I resist change.

So let’s go back to impermanence, to this that I insist on so much, and let’s recognize that, to begin with, everything changes and that the person who did such an action is no longer the same. He is already different. Are you still the same person who committed such an act five years ago?If you were exactly the same person, you would still do the same action.

Come back to yourself with compassion so that you can understand the suffering and confusion that you were previously experiencing that caused you to act in such a way. If I can change the situation, I change it. If not, I accept it.

If I take responsibility, it will allow me to become aware of what has happened, go through the pain of regret, learn, repair, and change. When I replace guilt with responsibility, I will be able to work on it and close the process.

The practice of observing these sensations makes me experience authentic healing. Healing is a journey of transformation. No one can be healed by being the same person. Hopefully, we will all find the courage to go ahead with this practice. Take what resonates with you from this podcast and don’t just let it go.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind. – Buddha

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