In today’s Law of Attraction craze/phase, folks sometimes think that guilt is a four letter word – something to be avoided and gotten rid of. I definitely don’t advise staying stuck in an energy of guilt but there is often a nugget of wisdom to be found in our guilt. The trick is to distinguish between different types of guilt.
- Our inner guidance wanting to be heard
- A hidden conflict between our actions and our values that is asking for our attention
- Outside influences and messages that we’ve unknowingly absorbed but truly aren’t ours and can be discarded
- A taking on of guilt within a system when it truly belongs to another person
With an understanding of the different roles and parts of guilt, we can more effectively use tapping to clear guilt.
Inner Guidance Waiting to Be Heard
Intuition and guilt often overlap. In this case, I view guilt as our intuition using a sledgehammer to get our attention. A common example I see a lot is confusion between mother’s intuition and mother’s guilt. If I feel guilty about my child being ill, I am blocked from taking appropriate action. But the nugget to be found in the mother’s guilt is the mother’s intuition that something needs attention. I felt guilt for many years about some of the circumstances of my son’s birth. After clearing the guilt by tapping, I then was free to take appropriate action. In this type of guilt, tapping will bring clarity so that appropriate action can be taken.
A hidden conflict between our actions and our values that is asking for our attention
If I go out drinking with buddies all night and wake up the next day in an alley, I may or may not feel guilty. All depends on my values and whether my behavior hurt someone else. If I do something unethical based on my values and feel guilty, that is entirely appropriate. Trusting our guilty feelings and looking for those values hidden in our guilt can be very eye-opening.
The question to ask is, “What part of this guilt am I responsible for?” Or “What part of this guilt is mine?”
Tapping can easily clear out the confusion:
Even though I feel guilty, I accept myself. Even though it might be appropriate to feel guilty, I accept myself. Even though part of this is my responsibility and part of it isn’t, I accept myself and my feelings of guilt.
Outside influences and messages that we’ve unknowingly absorbed but truly aren’t ours and can be discarded
Sometimes guilt is just a misunderstanding, a mistaken belief that if others think this way, we should as well. If we get clear about what we want and what others want, the guilt will dissolve.
In this case tapping is about differentiating the two voices:
Even though I feel guilty, I am open to the idea that this guilt isn’t mine. Even though I’m so used to listening to others, I’ve forgotten how to listen to myself, I am open to the idea that I can listen to myself. Even though this guilt isn’t mine, I forgive myself for being confused and feeling guilty.
A taking on of guilt within a system when it truly belongs to another person
I see this with clients how were abused or neglected as children; they feel guilty as though somehow they did something wrong. During tapping, I look for the opportunity to offer the reframe that the guilt doesn’t belong to the child. When I suggest that the guilt isn’t theirs, the relief is often immediate.