Healing your internalized guilt system

Dear reader,

In today’s article an attempt at how we all form some sort of internalized guilt system due to external social factors that might be valid in ones caregivers age and time, but invalid in a different time and age for the millennial’s for example..

There are two ways to control people, either through physical force or mental slavery, including belief systems and emotional states. The body and the mind are the game pieces, the instruments by which we, as individuals, can navigate our lives. So by giving away these game pieces, we are giving away our own will power to use them towards our own ends. Nowadays, true brutal physical slavery may still exist in, for example, concentration camps in North-Korea, but this is generally speaking not the modern way of controlling others. In today’s age of intellectualism the main portal for control is through subtle manipulation of the mind. Having people ignorant, misinformed or dwelt in shame and guilt is a much more effective and efficient way of controlling the mind, and, therefore, also the actions of the body. Religion is a great example of how certain universal truths can be bend and twisted around in order to manipulate others. This so called ‘ego-program’ that everyone adopts in order to survive as an infant can control ones thoughts and actions if we don’t have the willpower to shed it loose in later adulthood.

It is then interesting to note that as children we are playful, aware, creative, present and alive, and that we loose that inner child because we need to conform ourselves to our parents, teachers and authorities for the sake of survival. All though necessary, the ramifications are evident in later adulthood when we are shedding away these ‘ego-programs’ in order to return to self-awareness, joy, creativity and love in general. I think we can all relate to teenagers (or adults) who are committing suicide because of a confused view of themselves and the nature of reality, seeking ways of escapism in drugs, sex or even death. My personal conclusion is that we grow from a place of self-awareness as children, and evolve through the contrast of ‘darkness’ or unawareness as adolescents, in order to return again as self-realized individuals for the remainder of our lives. Simply for the sake of survival we needed to adopt these ego programs to function in our environment, but these can be shredded away through meditation and concentration as examples. If the love of the mother and the father is based on conditions, you needed to adapt yourself to these conditions in order to feel accepted and loved. Let’s say your mother loved you only under the conditions that you were nice, kind, giving and silent, and that your father only respected you if you would follow in his footsteps. You might express these same qualities with your future boss, spouse or other intimates in order to be loved. Some have more willpower then others in order to prevent such self-alienation to occur, but most of us are living completely in the dark because of the illusion of these adopted ego-programs that are preventing us from seeing a valid truth of being in the world.

So this is not an easy journey, since it is an inner journey of discerning the true from the false personality in you. Especially difficult is the maternal guilt system that is often used by mothers, teachers and other authorities in order to instill socially acceptable behavior in you. Guilt and shame are both negative states of being, nobody really enjoys to be in, so why keep it in your psychological system? You might argue that criminal behavior is prevented by the boundaries that guilt and shame create. However, a true ethical compass comes from within and cannot be fixed in specific norms and values that are inflicted upon you. Ethics are based on the dynamics of the context and cannot be fixed in space and time, so it isn’t a valid argument that makes guilt and shame necessary. ‘All is permitted’ in the sense that we as individuals can do whatever we want as long as we have the courage and persistence to follow through. This leaves us simply with the ramifications of our actions, and thereby the freedom to choose out of the opposites; love or fear, ease or dis-ease, joy and pain et cetera. This is the reason why a maternal guilt system can limit our options for being alive, since it is inflicting boundaries on how free we can think and act. I am talking specifically about an internalized guilt system, which is different then an externalized guilt system. An internalized guilt system is like the hard wiring on a motherboard, it has melted with your psychological hardware, making it very difficult and often giving a sense of pain when letting go of it. Since it has been so consolidated into your consciousness, it literally can feel as like you need to fill up an empty space. Similar like breaking up with people you are very intimate with, is breaking up with this ‘ego-program’ not an easy mission to pursue. An internalized guilt system is so strong, that even when you leave the community you grew up in, you still feel guilty in other places that might not even judge you as being guilty. An externalized guilt system is only making you feel guilty because other people are saying so, it doesn’t come out of your own self-judgement. The reason why such a guilt system is so strong is because we are all to some extend vulnerable to it because of our (childhood) trauma’s.

Since this system is firmly internalized and accepted by yourself, it makes it as hard as cutting through granite rock in order to let loose of these anchors on your psyche(MT). The challenge is then to literally re-script your past in the present by meditating and contemplating upon when and how you gave consent to others who wanted to inflict their own sense of guilt upon you.

Why feel guilty if guilt in and of itself is not solving anything? There are so many that constantly say ‘sorry’ to everything, which is simply an excuse not to take responsibility and actually do something about it in the first place. Many apologies are not even necessary, but only socially demanded. If you do any sort of harm to others, you will sooner or later get the blow back to gain awareness through the pain teacher, or you just let your ethical compass guide your decision making process to experience more joy and ease in your life and prevent the pain teacher to knock on your door. No guilt system needed.

Please share your thoughts about these topics if you like!

Thanks for the read,

Kees Berg

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