What A Life Motivated by Guilt Looks Like

They found his 2-year-old sister dead in the cow tank. He and his sister were caught up in a game of hide and seek, and he forgot to watch her. For 75 years, that day has been engrained in my client’s brain. He was six years old at the time. Because his mother was busy […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

They found his 2-year-old sister dead in the cow tank. He and his sister were caught up in a game of hide and seek, and he forgot to watch her.

For 75 years, that day has been engrained in my client’s brain.

He was six years old at the time. Because his mother was busy with his newborn brother, and his dad was working in the farm fields, his mother demanded he and his sister watch the 2-year-old.

He remembers the dress his sister wore, the color of the barn, and the sick feeling in his stomach when they discovered his sister had died. At the time he couldn’t articulate his emotions. He just knew he wanted to die, to hurt himself, anything to be released from the overwhelming feeling of guilt.

Over the years, he avoided being alone with his emotions.

He buried himself in school, chores, and friends. He made it his mission to always be a person of your word, finish everything you start, and work yourself to death.

They all sound like great motivating mantras, to our competitive world, but what is the end result of a life motivated by guilt? How does it affect a person’s consciousness? Their perception? Their connection with others?


The book, ‘Power vs. Force,’ by David R. Hawkins, discusses the energy of human consciousness generated by certain types of emotional energy fields. Shame being the lowest energy level at 20 and enlightenment being at the high end of 700-1000 energy levels. Guilt is found at an energy level of 30, right above shame.

Dr. Hawkins discovered guilt has a profound imprint on human consciousness. According to Dr. Hawkins, “Unconscious guilt results in psychosomatic disease, accident-proneness, depression and suicidal behaviors.”

My client has been accident prone his entire life. From third-degree burns on his legs to fracturing his hip. He has had many near-death experiences.

His strong subconscious patterns of guilt clouded his decision making process. He consistently placed himself in high-risk situations. Even at the age of 80, he chose to climb a 15-foot tree to prune. He fell, and ended up in the ER.


The trauma of losing his sister dramatically affected his perception. He believed his lack of follow through, lack of discipline, and lack of focus caused his sister’s death. His thoughts became beliefs. His beliefs became patterns. His patterns became his reality.

These perceptions followed him into the professional and paternal world. My client set very high standards for himself and others. This resulted in an extreme judgment of others. If his colleagues or subordinates didn’t follow through with projects or communication, he became very angry and lost respect for them.

If his kids lacked discipline or didn’t have the drive to finish what they started, he became triggered and explosive.


Subconsciously my client was fearful of getting close and experiencing real authentic love. He felt he didn’t deserve it. To protect himself, he created many walls around his heart and avoided connections.

He avoided connecting with his siblings by moving away. When they had family reunions, he kept the conversations superficial and light. When he was sick or injured, he kept silent not wanting anyone to feel sympathy for him.

It was a challenge for my client to say he loved his kids and his wife. He subconsciously feared that they would leave him. As a grandfather, he avoided taking care of his grandkids. He did not want to be responsible for them. He was fearful of hurting them.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, this client is my father. This last near death experience encouraged my father to pursue my advice. As a result, he understands to heal, from 75 years of guilt, he needs to come from a place of gratitude and forgiveness. His patterns are still strong, and they may never change.

After his last trip to the ER, my father went back to work. I used to become full of resentment when he chose work over family. I used to be angry at the years, connections, and love lost. But now I have compassion and understanding for my father.

Guilt is a powerful emotion. One that can steal a lifetime of authentic love and connection. If you or someone in your life is imprisoned by guilt take the necessary steps towards healing and forgiveness. It is never too late.

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

What A Life Motivated by Guilt Looks Like

What A Life Motivated by Guilt Looks Like

by Goodmen Project

How to Get Through the Worst Moments After the Death of a Loved One

by Lara Smith

Up with the downward dog

by Wuf Shanti

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.