Guilt & Regret

Guilt and regret. Guilt is that feeling that you did something wrong or offended someone. A self-motivator that often keeps you from doing wrong or harm to others. A moment where you have acted poorly or did something that does not fit your own particular standard of conduct. A violation of a societal norm. Regret, of course, is that painful, thought-provoked emotion that we deliver to ourselves as we reflect on the things that cause our guilt. A negative reaction to decisions we make or actions we failed to take.

The young pupil sat with his teacher and proclaimed, “I have learned so much and come so far; yet, I spend many moments wrought with thoughts of guilt and remorse for many of the things I have done and said and for many of the things I do now. I practice what I have learned, I meditate on the coming and goings of these thoughts and the emotions they provoke. I remind myself that these thoughts just come, I’m not looking or trying to think of them. Often the meditation helps and the thoughts fade quickly into the past where they belong; other times I am stuck in the thinking and the guilt and the remorse they provoke. What would you suggest I do at moments such as these?” The teacher lovingly looked upon his student and said, “You are correct to first turn to meditation, acknowledge the thoughts, understand they are coming from your mind, they are not you, just compulsive thinking creating suffering in your moment. When you remember, tell yourself the guilt and remorse are thoughts and feelings that result from a time when you were asleep or unaware of your true self, which caused you to act in ways you now regret. Even now, when your tongue slips into carelessness, remind yourself you’re waking up now, you’re coming out of the confines of your mind. The actions you take and the things that you say will change as you enter a state of conscious awareness.”

In the state of conscious presence, your behaviors are clear and concise, rarely causing any negativity to the world or others. Your actions will leave you no cause for regret. Love yourself. Forgive yourself for the things you have done that you label as negative from your past as well as those things you label as negative that you do now. You are new, waking up, born again, dying to the past, alive and present in the moment.

A simple meditation, here and there, now and then, when it comes to your mind, or not, bring your attention to the thoughts or actions that you guilt yourself about. Take a moment and reflect on the origin of the thought provoking the feeling. Be aware of your mindset at the time, what your level of consciousness was and whether or not you were in the same situation today, knowing what you know, being as present as you are becoming, how differently you would have handled the moment. Just as you would not guilt a child for an innocent act of ignorance, set yourself free. It’s a new day! Your day! The best day of your life!

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Inner peace may mean different things to different people. Some may believe that inner peace is different for all of us, which can also make defining inner peace a challenge. For many of us, the desire for inner peace can be clouded by definition or in our inability to possess the knowledge to find such a state of being. For myself, inner peace is a mental state of being not clouded by the repetitive conditioned programmed thinking of my mind. A state of being where my true conscious self is separate from the manipulation of my thought stream. Like too many people, I had a rough start. I was raised in the 1960s during a time where the line between discipline and abuse had not yet been drawn by society and where, in many homes, neglect and victimization was the norm. In too many arenas, it is still the same for many unfortunate children and young people today. As a result of the environment I was raised in, I spent most of my twenties in a state of mental anguish. At the age of 27 I came to the understanding that abusing drugs and alcohol was not the answer for dealing with a tortured mind, and though I was able to accomplish and attain many material things that the world had to offer, I wanted something more, inner peace. After being diagnosed with institutional grade PTSD and several sever forms of depression, I decided to take on the challenge of psychoanalytic therapy. For 13 years, I worked with therapists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and medical doctors to address the disorders that were the result of my upbringing. I included personal studies of psychology and human behavior to add more knowledge in my pursuit of wellness. By the age of 40, as I had always done, I was sharing the knowledge I had gained and my life experience with others with similar situations to my own. Despite my efforts, I could still not separate from the mind of a manic depressive. I could not attain inner peace. My desire for inner peace led me to meditation. Meditation is a practice that separates us from the workings of the conditioned programmed mind and the endless stream of thought. After several months of mediation studies and practice, I began to feel the separation of my true self from the confines and mental torture of my own mind. At that moment a new, although difficult, journey had begun. I spent years of riding the roller-coaster of mental anguish and peace as I continued my struggle to mental freedom. Now, 18 years since my meditation studies commenced, I find myself in a state of conscious presence that allows me to live peacefully with a mind suffering from mental illness. My journey has included sharing my knowledge and understanding of the inner workings of the mind with others to help them attain peace and joy as I have; aiding them in their quest to escape the suffering of the confines of their programmed conditioned minds. I have recently taken my teaching to a new level, carrying myself as a published writer, teaching mediation and sharing the knowledge of the ability for each and every one of us to achieve our natural state of being, which is peace, love and joy.

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