2021.01.11 Journal

todo::
* 30 minutes on the programming tutorial
* Day Seven of journaling about Guilt/Blame/Evil
* Go to meeting about non-profit

habits::
* Meditation – Day 673
* Journaling – Day 16
* Yoga – Day 15

Reflections:: 7:57am. Woke up at 7am, did my morning yoga/ meditation. Drinking a cup of coffee at my place while I write this post. As I write that sentence, I feel gratitude for living in a place I enjoy being in, with housemates I enjoy spending time with. It’s a fun, healthy home. I found myself thinking about work matters while meditating – some work matters from a previous company, and some matters from my current company.

I’ve mixed feelings about being on day seven of journaling about Guilt/Blame/Evil. I’m excited to move onto the next one. And I also feel like there’s so much more to learn about guilt. An interesting perspective now, is that if I notice myself or someone else feeling guilty about something, my reaction is likely to be, “Ok, so if you’re feeling guilt about your actions, that could mean you are past feeling shame about being the sort of person who took those actions. Or it could mean that you need to go deeper and examine any feelings of shame that you’re the sort of person who took those actions before moving on.” But no matter what, I’ll be able to empathize with them and understand how it feels. There’s a feeling of annoyance around actions that we’re guilty about. A mixture of, “I can’t believe I did that!” and, “That was so dumb,” and, “That was clearly a mistake.” At least for me, with most things I feel guilty about, as an initial reaction. Though sometimes there’s also defensiveness, “Well whatever, I did what I had to do.” “Well that person shouldn’t have provoked me then.” or “Well what would you expect me to do in that situation.” Something where I tell myself that I’m right and justified, and someone else is wrong. That can often be an indicator that I did something wrong – whether I consciously realize it or not – and some feelings of guilt and regret will follow shortly. I wonder if that’s correlation or causation. But not enough to want to go more down the rabbit hole there.

But in general, when thinking about guilt right now, I’m feeling curiosity. I’d like to spend more time with it and understand it better. I’m not as attracted to it as I am to shame though. I find shame fascinating. When I think about Guilt as a state though, and ask myself whether there were times I used Blame to manipulate others, I generally think back to my teenage years. I blamed my mother and father for all sorts of things, and was hoping that they’d respond to that blame by taking actions that my teenaged self was convinced would be better for them and me by extension, though I’m confident I prioritized those in the opposite order than I just listed them. Now though, what comes to mind is a legal situation with an old employer. I’ll need to be prepared to file a law suit to stand up for my rights in the situation. The CEO of the company lied to me and the shareholders in the process of firing me from the company. But in retrospect, I see how I could have been more mature/ less reactive in the moment, and the present more mature version of me could have handled the same situation differently. So I’m feeling like I don’t want to let go of the feelings there – as they can serve as a motivator to take action before the statute of limitations runs out – and at the same time, I don’t want to hold onto these feelings because they’re keeping me in the same place and I’d like to move on. I’m glad to write about that openly, and think I’ll need to ask advice of a friend who’s familiar with the situation and move on in some manner or another. In either case taking no action and letting things linger isn’t productive. What’s interesting there, is that it leads to the next state – which I’ll start journaling on tomorrow – Apathy/ Helplessness/ Hopeless. It will be interesting to explore those feelings and the thoughts associated with them. And in general, with thoughts that consistently come up during meditation, it will be interesting to see how passing them through this checklist I’m getting familiar with of various emotional gates will help me get a deeper understanding of situations and process more deeply. 8:28am.

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