Christopher Graham, The Story Reading Ape, is a generous soul who regularly hosts other bloggers. If you’re not familiar with our big-hearted Ape, treat yourself to a plethora of terrific posts by visiting his superb BLOG. I want to thank Chris for his generosity and for featuring my post, which I’d like to share with you now ❤
The people we tend to be hardest on are ourselves. Some folks are an exception to this, but it seems to be true for most of us.
While I was in Pennsylvania helping care for my mother, I fell into judging myself… harshly… a lot.
I should be doing more. I should move back to Pennsylvania in order to help my sisters meet my mother’s needs. I should not feel guilty that my nephew gave up his bed for me and is sleeping on the couch for five weeks. I should not be afraid to drive a (huge) van for the first time in my life, down unfamiliar winding roads, and over freeways and across bridges under construction. I should be able to stick with my dietary regimen and exercise program, even though I am constantly on the go and thoroughly exhausted.
How often do we hear ourselves say, ‘I should’? Have we not been ‘should’ on enough in our lives? What coding is embedded in the human psyche that prompts us to judge our actions, or lack thereof, so harshly?
I think we all know the answer to that question: Guilt.
But from where does guilt derive? How does it become embedded? Is it innate or learned? Unless it is a defensive mechanism all babies are born with, it is learned. So how do we unlearn it? How do we unlearn anything that has become a bad habit? We need to look at what caused the habit to develop in the first place.
Negative messages received in childhood imprint on our psyches. We play these messages over and over in our minds until they are embedded as core beliefs that become self-fulfilling. Thus, our life experiences generally result from what we believe to be true.
Energy follows thought.
It is also important to be cognizant of the pitfalls of perpetuating negative self-judgment. Those pitfalls are the tradeoffs garnered through self-denigration. One example is the ‘poor me’ attitude. This may elicit the treasured attention that was absent in childhood, but it is merely Band-Aid treatment for a fractured psyche.
Once we discover the origin of guilt, we need to recognize it as a mental process conceived of the emotion, fear.
All emotion stems from either LOVE or FEAR.
We might feel guilty, but the truth is we feel afraid – afraid of being disliked, shunned, rejected. As this primordial broth simmers, the subconscious mind attempts to make sense of it and accommodate what it perceives to be our needs.
The subconscious is a servant that takes all we feel at face value.
If we are afraid of something, it infers we must want to defend against it and does all in its power to make this so. In the case of negative self-judgment, it armors us with guilt. However, we oftentimes are not aware of the underlying feeling(s) driving our behavior. Yet guilt will not be denied.
This is a good thing, because . . .