Sunday Sermon [Guilt and Forgiveness]

Hola mi Gente,

A friend posted the following the other day and I feel it bears repeating:

“… Tamir Rice’s mother was sent a bill for the ambulance transport that took her 12 year-old son to the hospital where he died from a police officer’s bullets. It reminds me of the more barbaric countries that send the family a bill for the bullet used to execute their relative.”

Caren Kornfield Rago

Today is Sunday and this is the day I use this space to rant…

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 Guilt_ 001

Guilt

Love and guilt cannot coexist, and to accept one is to deny the other.

A Course in Miracles

 

Feeling guilty is just another way to rationalize behavior that defeats your happiness. Feeling guilty is an indulgence — a selfish and twisted way for you to continue beating yourself into the insanity of committing the same actions and expecting different results.

I once offered forgiveness to an individual who had wronged me and her initial response was to tell me how it cut her to the heart. She went on about how nice I was (I was not), how I didn’t deserve her treatment of me, blah blah blah. Her eventual response was silence. Years later, I ran into her by chance on the street and she began to cry. She told me that she had just come from her therapist and that she had been talking about me — about how she squandered what could’ve been something special and beautiful. How she always pushed what was good and decent away. She was so beside herself, all I could do was hug her and assure her everything would be all right.

I have a funny feeling I’ve become the subject of too many therapeutic sessions. For the record, I do not want to be anyone’s therapist or therapeutic subject matter. If you are a woman, all I want is for you to wrap your legs around my waist in lustful entanglement. I am kidding! Yeah, yeah, I sometimes trespass certain boundaries, it is OK.

The sacred offering of forgiveness is not about allowing someone to take advantage of you. Few people know that forgiveness — true forgiveness — must be first cultivated internally before it can be given away. Once you forgive yourself, you come to the full realization that there is no “other” to forgive. Paradoxically, forgiveness is probably one of the most selfish of acts.

Of course, because I am a very flawed human being, my first impulse, if you commit a wrong against me, is often anger followed by revenge fantasies. But as I (hopefully) evolve into a more conscious being, my interest is in helping you grow out of that mode of living. True growth is the process of becoming willing to have defects of character removed. It’s not even about having them removed. That may never happen. Growth is about becoming willing to have defects of character removed. When you become willing, you shed the guilt and start doing the real work of becoming. Lying, cheating, dishonesty, the whole cast of character defects — become fodder for your growth:

Yes, I lied to you, this was why, and I want to stop. And I because I love you, I want to work with you so that we can become truly intimate and loving.

The path of less resistance is to continue to feel guilty than to actually grow. When you feel guilt, you are in the grips of your ego. Guilt isn’t about someone else, it is about you because only your ego can experience guilt. Guilt will always disrupt your growth, will always sabotage you, and will always compel you to make the same mistakes.

You will be treated like shit, because guilt demands that you should be treated like shit. You will meet assholes who will defile you because your guilt demands it.

The end of your guilt will never come as long as you buy into the notion that there is a legitimate reason for it. For you to be released from guilt you must first learn that guilt is insanity; it always is and always has been and will always be. Guilt has neither reason nor rhyme.

And here’s why:

Guilt asks only for punishment and as long as you buy into it, you will be punished — always. You will be punished and be lost in a world of illusions and shadows. My former lover wants to be punished. And in a different (erotic) context, this can be a very attractive trait. However, for reasons that were very valid at one time, she does not understand kindness. And the fact remains that she is not too different from many women and men I know. Be nice to them or take away their reasons for feeling guilty and they will run away. The Ex is attracted to my light, but I have noticed that whenever I shine for her, she disappears. No sooner that my dark side appears, she can’t see enough of me. It is all quite complicated, but I believe that she is uncomfortable with unconditional regard.

I cannot do that — I’ve never been able to do that — to manipulate fear and guilt for sexual or any form of gratification. It is not worth my peace of mind. The Ex replays the scene: she disappears for a little while, suffers some more, and then somewhere in her mind, she remembers the light and calls to me. She suffers a lot, I think, and it saddens me to see her suffer. Many of us suffer in this way… Maybe one day she will come to the realization that she does not have to suffer needlessly. I do not know. All I can do is keep an open heart and radiate light.

A mind without guilt cannot suffer. Your freedom — indeed, your very salvation — depends on your escape from the self-made prison of guilt.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…

 

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