The Guilt of Joy
Life without celebration is a long way without an inn.
It is amazing how connected we are internally, with the unconscious devotion to the misery experienced by our parents and in which we were observers or participants as small children, but also to the universal habit of most of us living our lives, only within the limits of emotional survival.
Guilt and hidden devotion
What happens when we grow up in a family where one member was disabled, or was in a lot of pain, or was abused, or was mentally ill (perhaps depressed), or very scared or much more, had schizophrenia or had been psychotic?
Ιn these, and many more cases, we allow ourselves to reach a level of energy where we can say, "I will live a happier life," and remain in that position. Or do we choose to slip into survival in the guilt of joy, thus remaining in our devotion to this member of our family?
"Mother bless me to have a life happier than yours" (as a child),
"From me you are free to live your life and I will live mine" (as parents),
they hardly come to our thinking, let alone to conscious action.
Our parents and grandparents suffered so much for us to have what we have. So many ancestors lived very difficult lives, full of pain, the horror of war, were killed or were tortured. Then our devotion to them can be manifested as if we had to pay a price. So, we may have enough money and a partner but no children, or we may have a partner and family but don't make ends meet financially, or we may have a relationship but be sick, and so on and so forth.
Health, joy, love, wealth, relationships, pursuit of happiness, are the main goods of sacrifice of this faith and devotion.
If I pay a price as devotion, for example to my mother's depression, then I am very close to her and so unconsciously I can get the joy I did not get when I was little.
Hidden devotion extends even to the beliefs of a group of people belonging to a minority, through "suffering" for "belonging".
Which devotion is healthy and which is sick? Any devotion that diminishes you and minimizes your vital energy at the level of survival, is pathological and sick. On the contrary, conscious commitment to everything that stretches you and makes you happy is healthy.
This guilt of joy as devotion, is like saying:
"Look how many people have suffered for my own well-being"
We can choose either to remain faithful to ourselves and to the joy of our existence, to discover and explore, to extend our existence, to value the sacrifice and faith of our ancestors, or to slip into the guilt of joy, continuing our survival, living miserably but devoted to our ancestors, to a group, or nation, or to a belief that limits us, unknowingly sabotaging ourselves.
I have no guilt and I am happy, only when I am being myself
Conversely, we have an ideal of the ego within us that is very large and so we feel guilty that we cannot reach it. We divert our attention and focus to the next step and remain guilty that we can never reach it.
The belief we have in ourselves and how often we bypass it, resorting to projections on reality, is the connecting link of our relationship with others, with groups to which we belong and ultimately with ourselves.
Illness, and especially the mental one, raises in the sharpest way the question of the meaning of life, of the relationship with others, of bliss and joy.
Pain is not a purifying function. But only those who have not suffered will fatally become shallow and more or less stupid persons. But again, anyone who has not tasted joy is a sick person who can easily become envious, greedy and vindictive.
Insisting on connecting only with people who are in pain, because we ourselves have suffered in the past and we feel them, can maintain unconscious resentment for ourselves and others. For example, the creation of a disease can become a terrible revenge against ourselves, making us victims and offenders at the same time ... We push our energy into a low flow so that we do not position ourselves responsibly, expecting the best from us and for us.
• Devotion to the misery of the parents or the group to which we belong, as a movement, means that we diminish who we are and the possibility of becoming what we can become.
• Devotion is to allow and rather unconsciously seek from the others (companions, friends, relatives, etc.), to become the boss within us.
• But when we observe with all our attention, allowing within us this devotion to flourish and reveal the hidden symmetry of its love, then the representation also changes. Our hidden action so far is transformed with it and we become more of ourselves. Thus, observation and focused attention are what liberate us, instead of the denial of devotion.