Ask: Guilt always seems to triumph so why bother?

“In a recent mentoring session I spoke with you about a situation involving a woman I had been seeing who turned out to be a disappointment. Upon reflection I saw that she was a poor choice in the first place… I took what I considered to be a mountain of evidence to support my conclusion and thought I could call the whole thing a mistake on my part and simply walk away. While my feet did the walking, my mind continued to be haunted by the details with a vague sense that somehow this was my fault. I could see that this could be explained by the concept of “generalized guilt” that you often talk about, but the guilt remained.
I had a chance to talk about this with a woman I met recently whom I would describe simply as a peer – someone with life experience, intelligence, insight, and credibility. She responded unequivocally that this woman was not for me and that I could do much better. I immediately felt a calming resolution from this interaction. (Whether it lasts time will tell.) I wondered about what chemistry between me and this “peer” led to this resolution when nothing else I tried seemed to get the job done.
In any case, here I am attempting to practice the Course, fully accepting the truth of its guilt model. I’ve also trimmed down my expectations for I can achieve realistically at this time. I also simplified my practice to examining the facts when encountering obstacles and fostering a relationship with the HS. But when all is said and done what stands out is that for me GUILT WILL ALWAYS TRUMP THE FACTS. So what the f*** am I doing this for? I feel like a fraud and a chump for bothering.
So Liz, can you give me a good reason to continue along this path, including mentoring with you?” - – Anonymous

First, the guilt you described seems to have been about something specific rather than generalized guilt. Generalized guilt is when you feel guilty for no reason. “Generalized guilt” is really just the description of what it feels like to identify with the ego (personal thought system). But guilt over something specific can be relieved by undoing it somehow. For example, by bringing to conscious awareness a false belief and undoing it with the Holy Spirit. Or, as seemed to happen for you, by an unconscious belief being undone by something happening in your conscious world.

You were relieved of guilt when your peer validated you. The guilt was for something specific – perhaps a sense of personal failing that your friend erased by validating your perceptions and actions. The “chemistry” between you and your friend is simply that she is someone you respect and whose judgment you trust. You also must have been willing to be relieved of guilt. This is a good example of “the Holy always answers”. Sometimes you hear It directly in your mind; sometimes Its answer comes through a book or a person or something you hear on TV or in a song. You were willing to be relieved of guilt, you felt moved to share your story with someone you trust, and she said what you needed to hear to release the guilt.

You seem to have missed the miracle! Guilt did not triumph; you let it go. Perhaps if you can see this you will find reason to continue on the path, which, as you are guided, may or may not include further mentoring with me.

One of the things I do as a mentor is help my clients to see the miracles, to reframe their circumstances, to find a "better way". Email me at to set up an appointment. You can learn more about what I offer at


Kathy said…
That was awesome! An excellent example for me to refer back to on how guilt is undone when we are open and willing to see differently. I became aware recently that guilt, while uncomfortable, is a part of God's Grace. We have a choice of how we see guilt. We can see it as a tormentor, an evil twin that we struggle against to be free from. Or we can see it as a useful tool, as a part of our inner guidance system, a pulsating beacon that prompts us to find the peace of our being and remember we are God's Son (Sun). Ultimately guilt is not necessary to experience this, but in the beginning of our joureny knowing this can be helpful.
Anonymous said…
How is guilt God's grace? I don't think so.
Anonymous said…
This blog combined with last week's was a real eye opener for me. I realized that all spiritual paths are at least one step removed from the goal they aspire to. And understandably so because the map can never be the territory. Furthermore, anyone undertaking a spiritual practice will always do so through there own filters, baggage, biases etc. and create something that is even further removed from the truth. In other words, one's subjective practice can turn into a trap, an idol, or a ball and chain. I've never been comfortable with acim. For one thing the Helen Schucman-Jesus story has been unbelievable to me. Liz refers to Jesus as a metaphor. Maybe so but this does not help me personally in any way to experience truth. Another wall thrown up by the course for me has been its language - lofty, dense, esoteric, cryptic - so much so I was attracted to a teacher (Liz Cronkhite) who started with the course but drifted away from it - not rejecting it but finding other ways to simplify it and get at its essence. Even so I brought my own spin on what I was learning which I see now was holding me back. I question why the course came into being in the first place since it really offers nothing radically new or known before. I see now a a simpler way to go about this. I want even less structure and so I'm moving on. To each his own.

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