The Wheel of Misfortune: Guilt & Shame
Next one, guilt and shame. Now, guilt and shame is the big one. The difference between guilt and shame is that guilt is, "I have done something wrong, "and I feel bad about it," but shame is, "I've done something wrong, "and therefore, I'm a bad person because of it." There is a little bit of divergence between the two, and in this category, it's where we see a lot of the unworthiness, the undeserving. When you get down into unworthiness, we're really getting down into the shame level of the category. But first, I want to talk about guilt because guilt is meant to be good. Guilt is meant to be good. When I do something wrong, I feel guilt. When I say something wrong, do something inappropriate, act poorly, I feel guilty so that I go and do something differently the next time. Guilt is meant to be good. One of the definitions of a psychopath is that they don't feel guilt, right? So I hope that you all feel guilt. (audience laughs) Guilt is meant to be good. However, guilt is not meant t...
o be perpetual. We're not meant to live in a state of feeling guilty around our money. Of course, we do feel guilty because we have spiritual beliefs and beliefs that come down from generations about money, and we feel a little guilty if I make too much, if I have too much. I feel guilty if there's children starving, and I have too much money, so I need to get it away from me so I don't feel guilty. But guilt is not meant to be perpetual. It's not meant to be ongoing. Let's talk about spiritual guilt and bad programming, because when it comes to guilt, these are really the two areas that we are feeling this ongoing guilt. Now, the real thing about perpetual guilt to me is a misalignment of our beliefs. I was taught one thing, it's more spiritual to be poor, rich people are greedy, I was taught this, but now I really would like to make some more money. I really would not want to be strapped at the end of every month. I'm really hoping that I can go out, and get a better job, and make more money, but I don't want to make too much money because I am hanging and carrying these beliefs with me. What we have is this tug of war between what I believe or what I was raised with and what has subsequently become my belief, and what I want to believe. So this misalignment causes us to live in this perpetual state of feeling guilty, which is not what guilt is meant for. In spiritual guilt, like I said, maybe you think it's more spiritual to be poor, or maybe you've heard some of the scriptures about rich people, and you have had an interpretation, or you've given it an interpretation, but what if there could be another interpretation? What if you were raised with looking at it one way, but if now, you want to get out of the guilt, you're willing to open yourself up and look at it in a new way? Let's take an example. There's a scripture that says it's harder for a rich man to get into heaven than it is for a camel to get through the eye of the needle. Anybody heard that? Okay, so we hear that, and we think that means it's impossible for a rich man to get into heaven. I've never seen a camel go through the eye of a needle. I mean, to me, that's impossible. If I believe a scripture, how do I reconcile that with the fact that I really would like to be rich? What if there was another interpretation? Because scholars actually believe that there was an entrance to the city that was called the Eye of the Needle. Now, this particular entrance was more narrow. It was smaller, and so, when the camels had to go through it, they had to take off their worldly possessions. They had to unload the bags before they could go through, and they had to get on their knees to go through the Eye of the Needle. It wasn't impossible, it's just that you cannot expect to take all the baggage and the worldly things that you've collected because there's no hearse that pulls a U-Haul. (audience laughs) You don't get to take it with you afterwards. You have to unload those in order to go through the gate, but it doesn't mean that being rich is going to prevent you from getting into heaven, so what if we could have a new interpretation, and align some of our spiritual teachings to what we would like to believe going forward? What is it that we really feel like we identify now, because is it still serving us the way that we thought? Could we take the time and resolve the guilt that we're feeling by deciding for ourselves what the interpretation, and looking up, and researching what possible interpretations it could be? Bad programming is bad programming coming from parents, or coaches, or teachers, but really, if we heard stuff from our parents, they heard it from their parents, who heard it from their parents, who heard it from their parents, right? It comes down and filters down, and we hear things, and we sense things in our family about money, and we were told rich people are greedy, and so what do we see? We see that rich people are greedy everywhere we look because your brain has this little thing that's actually a big thing called cognitive bias. Your brain, in order to make you feel safe, and in order to help you process all the information that comes at you in the world, your brain has this tendency to focus on what you already believe. It looks to prove what you already believe, so if your parents told you that rich people are greedy, and you've heard that all the time, and now you believe it whether you want to or not, your brain, because of cognitive bias, looks for greedy rich people everywhere. Articles, conversations, "Oh, my neighbor, "they're really rich, but they're really greedy." Even though there is a balance, you don't really hear the balance. You may hear it, but you don't keep it, because your brain throws that out in favor of proving what you already believe. All of a sudden, instead of hearing, which we hear, Bill Gates has this foundation, has lots of money, and has done tremendous good around the world, we know that, you remember that, but if you really believe that rich people are greedy, that gets discounted. All of the stories about when I talk to someone, and their friend's father is really rich, and donated all this money to do this, you hear it, but it gets discounted 'cause your brain wants to prove what you already believe. What are the ways that we see guilt and shame? Well, undeserving and unworthiness is really, at the end of the day, falling into the shame category. I'm inadequate, I'm not good enough, I can't do this, I don't have anything to offer, I'm flawed, I basically, like we said earlier, can't put myself out there because I'm ashamed at some level. The thing is about money, is, whether it's spiritual beliefs or bad programming, we all have this idea of what's acceptable. If we're in this category, and we are feeling guilt and shame around our money, we have landed ourselves at the place that that is in the most balance, that we feel that we can tolerate it. Maybe for you, that's $75,000 a year. At $75,000 a year, I now feel like, okay, I'm not feeling super guilty 'cause I still feel a little bit strapped. I'm not having all this extra money, but I don't have so much money that I'm a rich pig. But someone at $35,000 could be looking up at you, and being like, "They should give away "a lot more money 'cause they are rolling in it." They feel, at $35,000, that's the appropriate level. The point is, whatever level of money you are at, it is completely arbitrary. It is completely based upon what your programming and beliefs have allowed you to think is okay. If I'm at this level, then it's okay. I don't have to push forward because, then, I don't have to push into that guilt and shame. Guilt and shame comes up when we don't trust ourselves. I don't trust myself that I will treat the money correctly. I think that I'm gonna abuse it, or misuse it, or somehow, it's just gonna not work out for me, so I hide my success, I hide my knowledge because, if I get money, I might mistreat it.