Yesterday I talked about how I’ve become aware of many processes and habits that were mostly invisible.

I wrote about my struggle with envy, how that was once a big, smelly deal, but now starts to dissolve because I catch it the moment it arises, and directly disengage with it.

But there’s an even bigger and even smellier thing that was recently exposed.

Something that has influenced my life incredibly:

I feel guilty almost all the time.

It’s like a vast, underlying toxic field that drips and drips and drips and finds its way into many situations.

Guilt has been my hidden companion for decades.

And now it’s finally out in the open, ready to be dealt with.

When I talked about envy and jealousy, I said I don’t really care what the reason for that is, because it simply doesn’t matter for the process of healing.

Knowing the source of shitty (mental) habits might be interesting and somewhat enlightening, it might even result in a bit of loving understanding, but it’s hardly transformative and practical, in my experience.

What IS transformative, though, is seeing right through it.

What is transformative, is nipping it in the bud.

You simply put an end to it whenever it shows its head.

I can feel guilt very clearly now as a presence, a feeling of endless universal debt, something I will never ever be able to repay or repair.

Maybe this has got something to do with my years as an anxious, depressed, and fairly aggressive alcoholic, where my modus operandi was to be extremely unreliable, lie, and cheat.

I don’t know.


And: whatever.

In terms of human interaction and personal responsibility, I think I’ve made up for that, quite seriously and intensely.

I’ve talked to everybody involved in my years as an addict, expressed my gratitude, owned my stupidity and stubbornness, made my amends, opened my heart as much as possible, and worked very, very hard to add value to the lives of many people I don’t even know.

What I’m trying to say is: I truly believe there’s no reason for guilt, if guilt is about some moral imbalance, where you have to make up for something.

This means I’m now letting it go, or at least I’m in the process of not buying into it anymore (which comes down to the same).

It’s incredible to have an epiphany like this.

How can we even know these things, how can it be SO clear that we carry around stuff and be able to identify it, how do you even recognize something like guilt in the first place?

For years and years, I’ve been stumbling around with guilt injected into everything I do and don’t do, and it made me feel like I never did enough to fix it.

There was guilt about not saving the whole world.

Guilt about not planting water pumps in Africa.

Guilt about asking for money for my services and guilt about eventually no longer wanting to help people for free.

Guilt about things that happened thirty years ago.

And guilt about things that hadn’t even happened yet.

It’s incredibly liberating to have had this realization.

Guilt is bullshit.

You can know about ‘wrongdoings’ and do something about them without the energy of guilt.

You can change your life because it feels good to do so, and not because you want to get rid of what feels bad.

Guilt is just too big of a thing, too heavy, too complex, too paralyzing, and too unforgiving.

It’s time to kick it the fuck out of my life.

How about you?

(Photo by @jannesjacobs, for Unsplash)