Yesterday one of my clients asked me, “How do I stop feeling guilty for all my blessings when most of the world is in pain and has nothing?” While I didn’t channel the pain of the world as my client has done, I did have guilt that kept me from really enjoying and embracing my life, when I was first getting started in my personal healing.
After years of schooling in physics, and then teaching, I used to feel guilty that I was able to stay at home and work on my own dreams, write, and play, and do tons of self-care required to heal enough to be creative. (At the time I wanted to be a sci-fi and fantasy writer—I had no idea that I was going to be struck psychic and a practice as a shaman was coming.) From the outside, from external comparisons, I looked like a decadent weirdo. I had friends who were resentful and jealous that I was sponging off my first husband; I didn’t have to work as hard as they did. And I felt guilty and defensive, and yet, a really cool life that I dreamed of living was a life that included creativity, play, and not working very hard at dreary jobs.
The reasons I felt guilty and defensive were that I also bought into the belief system that I had to work hard, that life was a life of suffering, and I wasn’t putting value on the spiritual and the creative aspects of life. No wonder I felt guilty!
What I had to realize was, if I truly wanted a life of joy, I had to insist upon it. I had to use the circumstances I was born with—born into the middle class, given a great education, given a very well developed mind—as the foundation stones to make my life into the best life I could have.
What I discovered as I did so was that Yes, there is a collective nightmare out there. And that nightmare is horrifying. All of us are part of the collective, so we are all susceptible to being caught up in it. At the same time, when I focused on what my Heart and Soul craved, life for just me became much, much happier and brighter. Because I was willing to commit to myself, I found this beautiful, universal, and intelligent creative force was matching my efforts and bringing me more and more.
I discovered that the beliefs that we hold to be facts, and the emotions contained inside those beliefs, are what hold us prisoner in the Collective nightmare. When I decided to wake myself up, I was stepping out of the collective nightmare. What also began to happen is that my immediate circumstances began to change for the better. The people with the old belief system went away to be replaced with others with expansive, life-is-good belief systems.
I have worked with clients who have invented their own prisons just by the beliefs that they keep. I have also worked with clients who are subject to the group think beliefs of their culture or family, and have a terrible time creating the lives that they want because the group think is so strong. And yet, every once in a while there is someone that breaks free of the collective. In every case that is because they were strong individuals, deeply commited to their souls and to their hearts.
What this made me decide was that my feelings of guilt were a mistake. Somehow I was a product of my own culture’s group think, too. That was just part of the start-button for all human beings. Freedom comes in learning how to cultivate that Soul Strength, that precious originality that we all have. And when we do that, then we become these magical creatures.
The really neat thing that happened when I got this was that I found that the people around me started picking up on the changes going on inside me. My vibration was affecting the vibrations around me. By my healing myself I was healing others simply by my presence. I’d hear stories later of how I inspired them when I hadn’t intended any such thing! It was now the reverse of where I had started from: one individual being beaten down by my local group think—I had now grown so powerful I could actually change the group think around me instead!
So, perhaps the way out of feeling so guilty is to say, Yes, the world is as it is. It is full of pain, it is full of horror, it is full of unfairness, and very few people out there have purposefully created that for themselves consciously. That is all true. But, each of us has the power and the resources within us to gain personal freedom.
You can gain personal freedom by acknowledging your own power. Ultimately, if you *do* commit to your soul, that will mean that you will have to indulge yourself in the best life has to offer you, and that might feel decadent. But it is precisely that mechanism that makes your Soul strong and allows you to change the collective nightmare into more of a collective dream of bliss. And man, do we need that!!!!
I think each of us has the potential to change the world by our very presence. But to do that, you have to really commit to living a wonderful, happy life, revelling in it, engaging in it, and not denying the hard parts, too.
I guess I don’t feel guilt at the state of the world any longer because I know that each of us has the same internal resources to heal themselves. And I also know that each of us must come to that healing in our own time and in our own way. And I know that it is a mystery how that happens! I know what I must do, and I put all my energy in following the calling of my Soul.
Feeding your soul, commiting to your Soul’s Journey is the surest and most honest way of changing the Collective Nightmare that I know of.