Guilt Complex: A Demotivating Emotion Stunting Our Collective Growth


The guilt complex is often thought of as a transient emotion that arises as a result of some definable event.

It is even extended to the self, thanks to our negative habits and tendencies deemed destructive by society, and especially close peers that lead to the guilt complex.

The ‘guilt complex’ is more complex than this though; it has a much larger remit in terms of influence on us and although many live with an undercurrent of guilt on a personal level.

This is played upon in a big way by those who wish to utilize it for control or financial entrapment.

People use your guilt complex against you

Evidence of this is cancer charities and animal charities designed to tug at the heartstrings. The implication in the relentless campaigns for us to comply is this:

In the first example, we should be doing something to contribute to a major problem, albeit one in which the majority do not understand the cause or look to the corporate entities pulling the strings of our guilt as actually having some responsibility for the situation.

We’re too busy being pulled from pillar to post by pictures of sad looking children with bald heads, which trigger our empathy enough to get us running marathons or throwing money at an inherently hopeless cause.

In the case of the latter example, a heady combination of fear, guilt, and conditioning deliver in a profitable package. 

The message is that if you don’t follow the pharma-appointed status quo, your child may become a victim of some disease or other and you’ll never be able to forgive yourself.

Unless of course, it’s the vaccine itself that causes such a disaster.

The roots of our guilt run deep

Vaccines and charities aside, the guilt complex is something that is not going away in a hurry.

So many children (before they are old enough and wise enough to apply reason to situations) are victims of their parents’ projections of not being good enough, not well-behaved enough, not being considerate enough… etc., etc.

Many children internalize the resulting ‘uncomfortable feelings’ and become absorbed into the developing ‘ego.’

Mix this with a complex web of external conditioning, and the original cause is almost impossible to pinpoint.

Being unaware of the root cause of their guilt-tinged, self-flagellating thoughts, they identify with this downward-spiraling negativity and come to the general conclusion that they are ‘bad’ people.

Our ‘bad’ habits are fuel for the fire

Let’s take smoking for example.

Although it wasn’t always the case, society’s current take on smoking is that it is harmful, so the natural conclusion is that if we care about ourselves at all, we have reason to feel guilty about such self-abuse.

Guilt is of course just another judgment against the self. Might it be wiser then, to objectify the situation?

If you look at the results of your smoking on your health, you find that there is a negative impact.

What use is it to tell yourself what a “hopeless person” you are?

The chances are, you’re going to feel such a dip in mood that you light up and intensify your guilt.

Don’t throw caution to the wind and embrace all your habits. Just ask what is your guilt telling you?

We need to take a deeper look at our emotions and their origin, as with almost every other devaluing emotion in life.

If you feel guilty, there is a reason for it. Discovering that reason is imperative if you really want change. 

You are more likely to observe the results of your actions without harsh judgment to make an informed decision.

Therefore, why not embrace your guilty feelings as your teachers instead?

Don’t let transmuted guilt be an excuse for stagnation

If you feel guilty because deep down, it might not be wise to launch yourself fully into embracing the ‘feeling.’

Of course, if you start to release guilt this is positive, but not if you take it so far that its lessons are lost on you and you use your newfound lack of guilt as an excuse to stagnate in unhelpful situations or habits.

The key is, as always, balance.

When dealing with others, empathy and compassion can translate into guilt very easily, thus creating a guilt complex. 

It’s noble to be able to feel into the situations and emotions of others; this is precisely what keeps the world hoping and motivated toward positive change.

But we can take empathy too far

If experiences of others start to infringe on your own emotional state, nobody is benefiting.

We can’t save everyone so we need to pick our battles in life; there are too many stories floating around of burnt out, depressed activists.

Empathise, but not at your own expense

You need to take charge to bring about change, and that means being able to manage your emotional states. 

Depression, fear, and anger help nobody; I know this because I’ve been there.

On a collective level, most of us feel some drive to discover our ‘purpose’ in life. 

Yet it does seem that the guilt complex can be one of the more negative of the motivators in this.

Thoughts like “I’m not doing enough on the planet, I need to justify my existence” are totally unhelpful.

We were all created from the same source and if we want to help each other out, that’s fantastic.

On the other hand, if you endlessly to serve a guilt-based existence, you’re going to hit an emotional dead-end.

If you do something based on fear, your relationships will likely suffer. Why should you always put others first? Don’t you count?

Reframing guilt, processing it, and using it as merely an indicator of what needs to change is far healthier.

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