So, I know this is probably due to my neuroticism but this is what happened: after a long few weeks of massive stress that I couldn’t get a grip on, I had one of those amazing breakthroughs yesterday where I could see and eventually let go of a large part of my good girl persona that was causing it. But what happened as I was teetering on the edge of something much better was that I was assuaged by guilt and shame regarding how I’d behaved and acted. It blocked any going into an EE or PCE.
I guess everyone’s gone through this but for me this seems to be one of my most basic blockers (and building blocks).
Perhaps not looking for advice as much as looking for a discussion about this and how others might have handled it. I’m not stoked on running around in this particular circle any more.
Hmm it seems like the remaining “small” part of the good girl persona is causing this guilt and shame
A good girl of course, feels guilt and shame when they do something wrong… that’s just what good people do. It is the only decent way for society to run. Otherwise, people could do whatever they wanted with no impunity! We have to feel guilty when we do something wrong, and shame other people when they do something wrong. Otherwise it will be utter madness!
Of course if the way society is running is considered ‘sane’ then maybe madness is not a terrible alternative .
But as you know there is a third alternative… so the question for you is – do you personally, as @emp , need the guilt or shame to prevent you from running amok? Or can you see how you might be able to operate without that deterrent, without leading to a mad/insane way of living?
I think the way I’ve worked past my own guilt & shame has been in seeing that everyone’s life circumstances & past experiences are different, so neither make much sense.
Shame doesn’t make much sense because whatever ‘shameful’ behavior/status has a history, a past, a large part of which ‘you’ had little to no part in causing. It also has no predictive power in the future, as just because I am in ‘x’ place now does not mean that I will be forever. Similarly with guilt, whatever misstep we make has a history, and feeling bad about it does nothing to change things. In fact, Richard characterizes it as an extra-sneaky way that ‘I’ dodge working on myself! I’ll just feel bad as a way of pacification, and then - surprise, surprise - I find myself doing the same thing again a few weeks later, and then feeling guilt again, and generally going in circles as you describe.
So, not going into guilt or shame is actually the first step toward genuinely changing my behavior for the better, in other words actually improving rather than doing the song & dance of improving (for my own benefit as well as to signal my sorryness to others).
From there, a fascination with one’s own behavior can begin to set in, as I become actually fascinated with the question: why did I act that way? What past factors in my life & my culture led to that happening? There is no blame, but instead an intense thirst for genuine understanding.