Learning While Flowing
Guilt, remorse, self-resentment people sometimes choose to wear these feelings as a badge of honour.
To me one thing is clear, when we feel these emotions, and especially when we carry them around with us, we do not feel good.
Therefore, it makes me question why biologically, the neurochemicals which create these emotional responses even exist?
Something we have discussed before is what has made homo sapiens so successful as a species. It is quite simply our ability to form large cohesive social groups that can work together towards a shared vison driven by a common understanding underpinned by an agreed code of conduct.
So, in this context, it is very useful to know when our behaviour may have compromised our ability to connect and integrate with others in our tribe.
Hence guilt and remorse manifest to indicate to us that our behaviour is not optimal for our continued survival.
I think in respect of this context, these emotions are all good. The challenge commences when our ego kicks in to try to keep us safe…
As we flow down the river of life, events may unfold which lead us to manifest guilt or remorse. This can be like bumping ourselves on a rock unexpectedly. We now know that next time we see a rock coming, we need to pull our legs up out of the way.
Our ego though, wants us to practice this manoeuvre, and in a bid to help us do this, it grabs hold of that rock of the past and tries to pull us back up stream to rerun the event.
This act of pulling ourselves in to the past to relive historic events, while done in the spirit of our best interests, makes us feel the whole force of the river as we attempt to swim against the flow upstream in to the past.
Now I put it to you that we can be assured that there will be many more rocks further up river, and none of them will be exactly the same as the rock we previously encountered.
With this in mind, do you think it is a wise to expend all that energy swimming upstream to train ourselves?
If we have not learned the lesson, rest assured, life will teach it to us again!
Guilt and remorse serve a purpose. They exist to create awareness. Once that Awareness is present, the emotions have served their purpose. Much like a bridge once we have crossed to the other side, the bridge has served its purpose and is no longer needed.
The challenge we face is as a result of our societal conditioning in which we are taught as small children that we should feel these emotions (and even go so far as encouraging them to arise) if another person is dissatisfied with our conduct in a situation.
Remember this “other person” could actually just be you evaluating yourself!
It is this conditioning applied to us with good intentions as children that makes manifest a disproportionate amount of guilt and remorse. The more of these emotions that surface, the higher the probability the Egos natural tendency to keep us safe will kick in and irrationally ruminate in a bid to learn.
Awareness of this conditioning and our natural tendencies is the first step to becoming non-attached. I am talking about being both non-attached to the event as well as the emotions that have arisen.
Learn the lesson and keep moving forward.
Let go of the past and the emotions.
Trust in the process.
Trust that life will teach you again what you have not learned.
I choose to carry with me just what I need, this allows me to retain the nimble agility required to deal with life’s adversity.
No, I do not always get this right, and yes, I am constantly trying to develop my awareness of the rocks I am choosing to put in my rucksack.
The first step is realising this is all a choice, then it is all about creating the right conditions for you to make the right choice.
Are you ready to embrace the present to unlock a new future?
Enjoy, for now.