Are you feeling guilty for being happy during lockdown? Have you ever felt guilty for being happy when others’ are suffering? If so then read on to find out why you don’t need to.
Why feel guilty when others are struggling?
I put my hand up to this one.
It started when I was a kid and saw images of starving kids in Africa at the time Band Aid was released.
I wanted nothing more than to take their pain away and I knew from that point on I would spend my life helping others.
It looked to me that I shouldn’t be happy when so many people in the world were suffering. And this continued well into adulthood. In fact, until I came across the Three Principles understanding that I now share.
To me it seemed that if others were struggling then I should too. Or at least I shouldn’t go about being happy in life. I felt guilty about all that I had.
And that guilt drove my behaviour. Forever working to try and ‘fix’ others; to take away their suffering and pain.
And it seems that I’m not alone on the guilt front.
During lockdown I have had innumerable conversations with people both online and in person about how happy they are.
But always they finish with the utterance of guilt; that they are feeling guilty about being happy.
Happiness guilt and how to overcome it
I’m naming this phenomenon happiness guilt.
And I’m going to share how I overcame it.
Firstly I want to ask you to consider what is wrong with happiness?
And then I’d like you to ask yourself whether you think happiness can be spread between people? And then whether you think suffering can spread too?
Because this is how it looks to me…
We cannot ever take someone’s pain away, and by imagining how they might feel just makes us feel bad too. And the outcome? Two people in pain rather than one.
So what’s the alternative?
If you are with someone who is suffering, acknowledge their suffering; be there for them; hold space for their pain.
But don’t think that by taking on their suffering you can alleviate theirs. If you take on their suffering you are of no help whatsoever.
So what’s the alternative to feeling guilty about being happy?
Well in my view, it’s to share your happiness.
If you can’t take away others’ pain then the best thing you can do is share your happiness.
I’m sure you’ve been with someone who is happy and felt that ‘rub’ off on you?
So rather than feel guilting about your happiness, why not own it? Why not share your love of life with others?
In doing so you can make a small but positive difference to those around you. And if everyone were to do that we would live in a happier world.
And that’s what I now see.
So rather than feel the weight of suffering on my shoulders I acknowledge the suffering and do what I can to spread love, peace and happiness.
If you’d like to find out more about what I share then join my 5 day e-course; Finding Inner Peace. In it we explore how our experience is created and where true peace and happiness lie.