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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fear, Guilt, and Life

Fear and guilt aren't bad things. They help us to identify what's going on in our lives. They are powerful, useful markers that should increase our awareness of what we're doing.

But we've shifted so that we are driven by our feelings rather than being driven by purpose. It would be like planning your life around which gas station you can get to with your car rather than just finding a station when the tank is low.

Fear and guilt signals that something's happening, not unlike the low-gas light on your vehicle. But what you do with the signal matters far more than the signal itself. We've become signal averse rather than signal aware.

We think it's the light that should be avoided rather than the low gas level. So we might do things like put tape over the light, remove the fuse, or constantly and obsessively fill the tank ever few miles.

It's no different with fear and guilt when we seek to numb them, avoid them, or constantly assuage them through some sort of penance or ritual.

We're missing the point of the emotional signals we have.

How do you work to integrate fear and guilt into your life rather than avoiding them?

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