In my last post entitled,”Guilt–A Heavy Burden To Carry,”I spoke about human frailties and “beating ourselves up over our behavior”. In explanation of what I meant, I offer this example: If we place a dog in a cage and keep poking it with a stick, when he does get free and bites us, isn’t it our behavior that leads to the attack? In many cases we are and will be provoked into reacting or acting in a way that we are not always proud of, and to carry guilt for years under these circumstances, that ultimately leads to the lessening of our own joy, as well as, those who depend on us or love us in life, is ludicrous.
We can go another step farther in this understanding: Once we do become an adult(age 17 to 18 if we leave home and 21 if we remain at home, in most States) and we allow another adult to control,intimidate, or manipulate our thoughts,conversation, and behavior, we are equally at fault. We are no less culpable, under these circumstances, than if we were poking them with a stick, as well. I exclude the criminal element in this post and any statement throughout. I have advocated for tougher laws against rape without time expiration, so children can face their abusers as adults, for years. We are All victims of crime regardless of age. We have no blame nor should we blame ourselves when it comes to crime and being victimized.
Equality of all adult human beings and human rights are entitlements of all Americans and equality of the races and genders, is not in the hands of any of us to control or to contain,other than ourselves when it pertains to our own lives and adult relationships unless we are victimized by crime. When the behavior becomes abusive it is illegal behavior (as it is with all children below 17 to 18). All ministers,Rabiies,Priest,Social Services personnel,medical personnel,firemen,schools, government employees, and policemen have a legal duty to report abuse of all ages. As an adult American, no person can abuse us,without our permission and without facing criminal charges. All children under 17 to 18 are automatically victims of abuse because they do not have the ability to give or with hold consent.
Just as too many people burden themselves with guilt, an equally large of a number, will excuse themselves from taking responsibility for their own failure to behave, appropriately, and too often it does lead to our own or others’ suffering. People who have thoughts of hate,revenge, or any negative emotions are not listening to their conscience but instead have chosen to shut out their conscience in favor of finding or passing blame and excuses. Why is it so much easier for many of us to find fault and try to correct it in others than it is to find it in ourselves? Too many people will take advantage of another’s’ vulnerability as well as blame their mate for driving them into the arms of another. Owning our own behavior is a necessary part of maturity in order to find the joy that we all seek.
Not all guilt requires professional help and many will find, “confession of the soul” and making amends to the injured party, brings with it the same release. Too many will try to buy someone or themselves something in order to make amends instead of making a conscious effort to accept responsibility for their own behavior.All the shopping trips and owning every pair of shoes in the Shoe store will not make guilt go away. Instead debt only adds to guilt. When we try to buy away or purchase guilt, we seldom ever learn from our mistakes.We do need to confront our own behavior, without looking for or finding excuses or blame in others, to replace our own guilt or responsibility. In the words of Harry S Truman, “the buck stops here.”
It is said that people in prison need to live on two emotions only, in an effort to survive the most dangerous of prison life, and those are fear and rage. When we lock ourselves up in our own prisons, then only we can set ourself free from the negative emotions that often follow our lack of taking responsibility. It is never “macho” or “cool” to be so afraid that we refuse to acknowledge our own weaknesses and refuse to get help when we are both following a destructive pattern in life as well as destroying our own joy, as well as, others’ right to live free from negative emotions.
Nothing is better in any of our lives than a clear conscience which makes it possible for us to rise each and every morning filled with Joy of another day. No one has the right or entitlement to give that or to take that away from us, but ourselves. Why people do, is between them and their “Maker.”
It is possible to live a guilt free life by simply resolving to never choose wrong over right and refusing to listen to anyone who tells us, our Elders, Ministers,Priests and Rabbi included,that it is sometimes right to lie,to protect our abusers, or choose to do that which our conscience tells us is wrong. Nor would any of them who are dedicated to helping us reach our Salvation, ask us to go against our own conscience. Certainly in Churches that use Prophesy or otherwise, God is never going to tell you or your minister that HE wants you to sleep with your minister. Sadly there has been cases reported going on over a hundred years, where this has happened, and how many have gone unreported?
No Churches’ reputation takes priority over we, ourselves, and especially our children being abused. It is the duty of the Church to eliminate the wrong doers and help us heal. If you are being told or have been told that it is your duty to protect the Church over your own or your child’s abuse, then report them before they hurt another, Our responsibility and duty is to protect ourselves and our children’ long term welfare. Churches are not shielded from the corrupt amongst us any different from other bodies ran by man and they can only become stronger and improve from within through the honesty of the people who attend and lead those particular Churches.
Personal Sacrifices are required in order for us to heal but none will ever include adultery,abuse or crime of any kind,instead we need to find change in ourselves, and it starts now, not tomorrow. There is a reason that we all have a conscience and that reason is, we need to listen to it. Not all people’s conscience run as deep as ours’, and for that reason alone we should not rely on the conscience of another over our own, nor do others find fault in doing wrong, but this does not excuse us from doing so, when applying it to our own responsibility and conscience.
I was watching the news last night and they were talking about removing the cameras at the red lights in L.A. that were catching people who ran the lights. They reported that people were not paying the fines so it was costing too much to justify using the cameras. The woman they were interviewing said,”If I knew people were not paying their fines, then I would not have paid mind either.” We do not release ourselves from guilt by telling ourselves, “everyone else is doing it, so why shouldn’t I?”
There is no better reward in life than what a clear conscience brings to us and our loved ones. Many times we will miss a step in life and need to start over because we are human beings prone to error, sometimes we need to let go of that which is the hardest to let go of, confronting ourselves head on in truth instead of excuses is not an easy challenge to take on, but all our efforts will be immensely rewarded once we do understand the difference between a guilty person as versus a happy person.
To deny ourselves or our loved ones the joy of appreciation, gratitude and equality while refusing them hope that we will at long last give up on our own guilt and bitterness, that has spread like a poison in their lives as well as our own, is our responsibility, when that is what we are doing as the adult in their lives and our own.
Feeding ourselves and loved ones guilt and all the lies that accompany it, for breakfast, instead of the joy of each new day, is too many times the biggest lie we will ever tell them or ourselves. Life is too grand and too short to continue even remotely close to this path if we are on it, not to mention playing “God” or “judge and jury” in the lives of others capable of making their own choices for their own circumstances.
It is time to change our paths with a whole new attitude of justice for both our loved ones and ourselves. The more eager we are to begin the sooner we will finish, but remember it is not an easy path that we are choosing, in the beginning. Often times people will cast stones,and sometimes leave in flocks, while we struggle with ourselves, to do the right thing. Many of the people would rather we be just like them over trying to improve ourselves. I repeat: It is not an easy path to take or to stay on.
The tendency in all of us to not find fault or criticize those who our own experience has told us, do not have a good word to say about anyone, is probably one of the hardest things to give up:)When we do realize that we are not so perfect either, it becomes easier each day. The great majority of people who do want to criticize someone do not appreciate hearing something good about the person they are picking apart. I’ve been yelled at and told,”Who appointed you everyone’s defense attorney.”chuckle Perhaps that is why I do like politics, as politicians are fair game to criticize as are the sanctimonious and pompous, who would over-rate their own significance.
The harder we work at taking responsibility for our own behavior, the greater the rewards.None of us can worm ourself out of guilt that our subconscious knows we created without our own forgiveness, no matter how hard we try to blame or make excuses because,”it is what it is.” To repeat Tony the tiger,”life is GRrrr-EAT!”when we make the choice to let go of guilt through positive effort of our own and through asking for all the help that we need. It is our own conscience and our own behavior that needs all of our attention and help. It is one of the best habits that we will ever form. We will not achieve our own success of peace of mind and Joy on a daily basis by making judgements or finding faults in the conscience of others.
We need to first be comfortable with ourselves in order to recognize the value of others, as well as, ourselves. It is when we recognize our own struggles and value we learn to appreciate the diversity, tenacity, and the “Never Say Die” of the American Spirit and how important we all are to its as well as our own survival. For the most part, most of us are not so bad to have around:)