What do people feel guilt about? The main situations that come to mind are: upsetting someone, disappointing someone, or disappointing yourself. To feel as though we've failed a loved one, or failed ourselves, brings on a downward spiral. Feeling like a failure leads to feelings of worthlessness, and it only goes down and down once we stumble into that mindset.
I've had failures in my life, but that hasn't hit a breaking point. A cause to push myself too hard sometimes, maybe, but I haven't often felt the feeling of utter worthlessness - I'm thankful for that. One thing I've noticed about my guilt, however, is how I experience it in my relations with others. I evoke guilt in my life as a result of actual situations, and assumed situations.
I have a hard time accepting that I've upset someone, demoralized them, embarrassed them, or brought to light a difficult insecurity. Therefore, I try to figure out the best way to speak to them, in a positive and encouraging way, which keeps them from the dangers of falling into self-pity. Not only do I choose this way of speaking when I know doing so avoids triggering them, but I also do it when I assume it might trigger them.
Clearly, this is not the path to take if I am actually attempting to help a person. Useless affirmations don't help anyone grow. Also, it says something about my arrogance that I assume I know what the person is feeling and can or cannot handle. Maybe I do know their insecurities and perhaps they will get triggered, but that is not my responsibility to guard. It also shatters a level of trust, if a person you love can't rely on you to tell the truth for some convoluted, 'noble cause' to spare your feelings.
Ah the ironies of life - protecting other peoples' insecurities to defend our own.
Why do we defend our insecurities so intensely? It's infuriating to understand the behavior you are exhibiting, disagree with it, and yet, despite that, still act in the same way. I suppose this all leads to the ego. Ego is a bastard, that's for sure. A dominating, arrogant, judgmental, inhibiting son-of-a-bitch.
That felt good. You should try it. Take a moment to give your ego a piece of your mind. For every time it's decided to overrun your actions, dismember your intentions, and speak with your voice. I don't want to disassociate myself from it because it's as much a necessary part of me as the rest, but I think there's no harm in telling it what's what every once in awhile. Reminding it that even though it may desire ultimate control, his dictator days are limited.
This entry doesn't feel as conclusive as some of my other ones, but I think that's about all I had to say about that tonight.
On another note, check out this crazy-awesome art that I found online: