Feelings of guilt are related to trust. There is authentic guilt and then there is imposed guilt. Guilt that is imposed comes from outside and tells you what you SHOULD feel bad about. Authentic guilt comes from you when you have done something that is out of alignment with what you really want to be doing. It is important to listen to your own authentic guilt, it helps maintain trust with your sensitive body. When you do things you SHOULD do or that others tell you that you SHOULD do or that you SHOULD feel bad about doing or not doing, then your body stops trusting you. Listening to your body and when you are out of alignment and trusting your body helps you to experience healthy guilt. Then you can use it to act in a way that is true to you, even if no one else understands or agrees. This is where you can DO something. Apologize to your self and/or others, take action that feels more authentic. Never apologize for acting in integrity with your values.
Feelings of shame are related to belonging. Authentic shame is when you are trying to belong in a way that you don’t. When you are out of character with who you really are, you may feel shame that can help you belong as you are instead of as you should be. Imposed shame is about who you SHOULD be and being wrong for not being a certain way. Belonging as you are is what allows you to relax where you are no matter what is going on. This is where you can BE, not-do. If you are striving or forcing your self then you can let go of that and discover how you belong as you are.
Feelings of embarrassment are related to being seen as you are at your most vulnerable, unedited, naked self. Authentic embarrassment is when you are doing something you want to be doing to show who you are and it feels really vulnerable. Imposed embarrassment is when you think you SHOULD be embarrassed or others tell you that you SHOULD be embarrassed about something you revealed. Embarrassment when doing something important to you allows you to be vulnerable with others you want to be close to and connect with. This is where you can HAVE connection. This is where you reveal your self to really feel that you are connected to give and receive authentically.
All of these are forms of self-consciousness. Being aware of your self is important. Self-consciousness is valuable when it is used to listen to the self and in support of the self rather than imposed on the self from the outside to control the self.
We are all 100% responsible for our actions. No one person is responsible for any situation. Understanding that we are all connected and we are all individuals can help us to appropriately use and experience healthy guilt, shame, and embarrassment. You did not create any situation you are in all on your own. But, you are 100% responsible for responding how you are able wherever you are. It’s not fair. Life is not fair. It is very forgiving, though.
In some areas we can be over-responsible and in other areas we can be under-responsible. We need to stop this imbalance. We need to be appropriately responsible. Picking up the responsibility for what is not ours does not serve anyone. And neither does pretending that we have no power and are unable to respond.
We are all responsible AND no one is to blame.”