THE PRISON OF GUILT
#1: Regret is Good
Regret is a useful tool that encourages us to forensically examine our mistakes. When we embrace regret, our mistakes can’t define us. Instead, our willingness to learn and grow from our mistakes is what defines us. Guilt, on the other hand, is a useless emotion that’s created by the thought, “I knew better and could have chosen differently, and now I’ve ruined everything.” That thought highlights our mistaken choices but ignores the context surrounding them. When you feel guilty about a choice, you may think you knew better, but your understanding of what was actually better was incomplete. That incomplete understanding is what made the lesser choice look workable to you. Experiencing the unpleasant consequences of making poor choices, though, is the very thing that gives us the capacity to choose better next time. We’re all doing the best we can in any given moment… even in those moments when we choose what we know isn’t good for us. There’s a vast canyon between recognizing a good choice and having the capacity to choose it. But it serves us to forgive ourselves for not being perfect while taking responsibility for our mistakes and trying to make things right with those affected by them.
#2: We’re All Connected Through Choice
Be cautious not to use this next point to justify carelessness or disown a sense of responsibility, but there’s a much more profound reason to never feel guilty. We’re all connected by our choices as agents of change and growth for each other. There is an inconceivably complex web of interactions that is constantly working for our long-term benefit. When our minds become evolved and expanded enough to behold this web, we’ll see undeniably that no choice or outcome - even the ones we label as “bad” - are ever random or without purpose. In ways that are difficult to fathom, our mistakes benefit those whom they affect - frequently in ways that they, themselves, cannot see. If you’re the apparent cause of an accidental death or the apparent cause of someone losing their life savings, it’s a tall order to spin incidents like those in a positive way. In fact, living from the shallow perspective of physicality, it would be impossible. But the narrow mindset of “we are only our bodies and minds” is completely blind to the behind-the-scenes authority and fate-altering power of each soul’s agenda; an agenda that for most is subconscious but is inevitably revealed as our awareness expands. Embracing the wider and grander perspective of spiritual interconnectedness - that absolutely nothing can happen without a higher purpose - is our best hope of eradicating guilt from the human experience, learning from our missteps, and finding peace of mind in the wake of our so-called disasters.
#3: Life is So Much Bigger Than We Are
From the highest perspective, you cannot determine anyone else’s fate… not the passengers in your car or plane, not your patients, not your employees, not even your children. No one. All of us - whether we’re conscious of it or not - are here having the experiences we need to have for as long or as short as we need to have them. You can’t prematurely stop or even hinder that process for another because that process is much, much bigger than you. Your choices and the outcomes of those choices are perfectly synchronized with the spiritual needs of the souls whom your choices affect, and vice versa. Despite our inherent inability to alter each other’s fate, it serves our fate to continually strive to be the best version ourselves that we know how to be. But never take another’s fate onto your shoulders. It is never yours to bear. Simply tend to those in your care, welcome some learning along the way, and let life’s timeless intelligence handle the rest. Everything we perceive as happening to us is actually a gift. Some gifts just require more unwrapping than others. I’ll close this episode by acknowledging that much of this probably sounds far-fetched and unbelievable; however, some of the most impactful truths humanity has discovered started out sounding… far-fetched and unbelievable.
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