My sis provided me with this insight: when one feels guilty about something, but doesn’t explicitly know it, one tends to deny responsibility, and (more often than not), push responsibility to someone else.
Adam & Eve – The Guilt Trip
One fine day, in the beautiful garden of Eden, Eve gives an apple to Adam. Adam takes the apple and eats it. He takes a big bite out of that apple, but before he knows it, it’s lodged in his throat, giving him a manly looking, but painful, “Adam’s apple”.
He tries to dislodge it, but cannot, and then God comes along. He wonders why Adam is trying to strangle himself, when He sees the apple in Adam’s hand. God realises Adam was trying to get the apple out of his throat. God then scolds Adam for taking the forbidden fruit, and leaves in a huff. Adam is shocked. He didn’t take any forbidden fruit, so why did God say he did? He then turns to face Eve, who looks a little scared.
Within moments, Eve’s scared face turns into a look of annoyance, and a little bit of anger. She hits Adam on the arm and demands, “Why didn’t you ask me where I took this apple from!?!” Adam is preplexed and puzzled by her reaction. He pondered over what she had said, and was suddenly enlightened! The fruit in his hand was the forbidden fruit. He looks down at it, then up at her.
“Eve, you shouldn’t have taken the forbidden fruit. You shouldn’t have given it to me. Why did you do it?”
“You said you wanted more fruit in your diet, you got it! I can’t believe you’re pushing the blame on me, you should have asked me where I got the fruit first. And besides, the forbidden tree is nearer to our home, and therefore it was more efficient to take this forbidden fruit,” said Eve, avoiding eye-contact with Adam, tears welling up, but never falling.
A while’s pause. Then she continued, ” You don’t expect me to walk across the yard to the otherside to get that fruit do you?? Forbidden fruit is more practical.”
She feels like she did something wrong, but doesn’t realise what she feels is guilt. The anxious energy coming from guilt is thrown into the argument that ensues, going into every excuse she could muster.
She senses that she did something wrong, yet doesn’t know what! Her mind rationalises all that she did, and tells her that she did nothing wrong.
She cannot tell that the excuses she had given were in fact silly. Because of the mind’s habit of rationalising just about everything, including wrong-doings, she cannot know that she is in the wrong.
This unknown feeling of guilt turns her conversation with Adam into a blaming game. He blames her (somewhat rightfully), and she blames him (somewhat wrongfully). God returns after counting to a hundred, giving Him enough time to keep His emotions in check, so as to see this situation objectively.
“Adam,” he says in His soft, husky voice, “I know you have not done this on purpose, but even then, I cannot let you go without a reminder for you to be more careful. You might find the punishment I am about to give you overly harsh, but at least you will learn never to eat forbidden fruit again.”
“Lord, have mercy!” Adam exclaims as he kneels down, puppy-dog eyes facing upward to God, hands cupped together in front of his chest.
“Adam, I love you. You know that. Take this not as a punishment, but as a learning experience. I hereby order you to marry Eve, in sickness and in health, for better or worse, till death doth part you both.”
Adam’s screams could be heard in the farthest corners of Heaven, but God knew it had to be done.
Yes, I know, the punishment was harsh, but God needed to make sure Adam remembered. Anyway, what can we learn from this? We can learn that God was the pioneer of anger-management classes, his counting to 100 when angry technique is now part of Anger Management 101.
We also learn that often, when we are in the wrong, we do not realise it. We tend to shift blame, refusing to see any other side of the story. It is not that we want to be difficult, it is just that the mind is a very powerful rationalising tool.
When we do something wrong, we might know we are wrong. But when we have to take responsibility for that wrong, and/or our ego is threatened by it, we tend to rationalise it so that it is no longer a problem. It is either not a problem at all, or it is somebody else’s.
We do not know when this crazy rationalising happens, and the only thing that will inform us of that is happening is the feeling of guilt. When we feel guilt, it’s because our conscience is telling us we did or are doing something wrong. Our heart tells us to notice something the mind tells us to ignore. If we ignore it, crazy rationalising will take over, and we will never admit that we did anything wrong, even if it was blatantly obvious.
In summary, do not ignore guilt, for it tells us something the mind cannot!
I love to read and write. Professionally, data science, technology, and sales ops are my thing. In my non-professional life, I aspire quite simply to be a good person, and encourage others to do the same. For those who care, I test as INFJ/INTJ (55/45?) in the MBTI.