COME OUT AND PLAY – I have the right to feel

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. When not teaching, I enjoy learning and writing (my blog) about both eastern and western approaches to body-mind union.

If guilt is a feeling that signals to us that we are doing something that is wrong, it serves a purpose in life of doing the right thing. But when we feel guilt because we are simply following the course of nature, going with what is natural and pleasurable, then we halt in front of joy. Its the famous Super Ego of Freud’s Psychoanalysis that enters the scene with the thick book of Law held high. We get these ideas planted in our heads early on, of what we should do. When we are being told that what we are isn’t right, we create the belief that we are bad. As a child, you do not question what your parents, teachers or caretakers tell you. So if I’m bad, I don’t deserve to be happy, to be loved. Deeply rooted within, we then follow the path that was set out for us even if it isn’t what we truly desire. 

So we end up miserable in lives that don’t seem to match us. We study subjects that don’t motivates us, to become professionals in a field that we dislike. We marry the wrong person and stay within the walls of conventions because it is expected of us. If we secretly long for something different, we feel guilty for not appreciating what we have. We are caught in catch 22. 

No wonder we get bored. That the world seems to have a grey filter and that we feel uninspired. We take this as our natural state, not imagining that there is an alternative. Even if we do, it seems too painful to experience. Guilt is a very powerful tool. We can be “guilt tripped” into almost anything. If we can avoid the pain of conflict, of disapproval, we will. 

We are not doing what we are passionate about. We are not enjoying ourselves. Doing for the sake of pleasure is not an option. Its a luxury, its selfish. Since we can’t actually follow our instinct and the course of nature, we find distractions for the boredom that our lack of inspiration is bringing (without going into detail about this, because its a whole subject of its own, just look into the need of Dopamine in the human brain). Since these distractions won’t change the internal conflict between what we truly are and our feelings of guilt, the discomfort stays. Pretending to be someone that you are not will never make you happy. Even more accurate, it consumes you and drains you. It takes quite a lot of energy to push the natural desire down.

As the French expression goes “ Chasse le naturel, il revient au galop” (basically, like a boomerang your natural tendency will return when you push them away. Or my favorite expression from Teal Swan; “what we resist, persists”).

The frustrations that pop up here and there and the sometimes rather strange behaviors in people we observe, are all manifestations of internal conflicts poking on the door. We numb them as much as we can with distractions in all forms and they block our natural flow of creative energy, the natural string of thoughts. 

Guilt does not allow you to be in the present moment. Guilt is linked to the past. Allow yourself to feel ambiguous about things and actions. Morals taught in childhood have a black-and-white structure to seems clear enough to follow. But we don’t behave after a black-and-white pattern of thought. We are a combination of complexed perceptions colored by our past experiences, our fears and expectations of the future.  

Guilt has created beliefs to put us down and therefore blocks our self-esteem.  This makes us feel small and insignificant. No need to say that in that state, we are not being very creative.

To make peace with yourself, I suggest to create a pleasurable experience through your own vessel – through the physical manifestation of your being. The body.

Accessing a state of flow creates an environment where you are not concerned with past or future, a place of non-thought, of non-Ego. Through this place, you can create an internal platform that is your home. Where you trust yourself, estimate yourself and from where you can create.