Becoming an adult is a sorting out process. We put away the aspects of ego that no longer serve us, and we nurture those aspects that do serve us.

At one point in my life I put away sarcasm. I thought it was humorous and fun, but it was hurtful to other people. In the past, sarcastic comments easily came to mind and then out of my mouth.

The sorting process can be a painful one, especially if you believe you are giving up something valuable. I resisted giving up sarcasm for awhile because I saw it as part of my identity. In my younger years there were people who complimented me for my "wit". Yet, to be honest, I could remember the “fun” I had at others’ expense. I could see myself doing that, and I didn't like what I saw. I didn't like the person I was being.

This kind of self-examination can lead to feelings of guilt. In my sorting I decided to give up guilt, also. I have found that to be much harder than giving up sarcasm. True self-reflection is non-judgmental. The emotion of guilt signals that you are out of alignment with who you believe you are or who you want to be. You can use the guilt as a motivator to move you forward, or you can internalize it and make it part of your identity.

Most humans, including myself, have internalized guilt to some degree. Guilt, like any other fear, needs to be faced. The way that I "sort" out guilt is to catch myself feeling it. I allow the thoughts to run through my mind and the unpleasant feeling to run through my body. At the same time I observe myself
thinking and feeling it.

By becoming the observer I learn to cease identifying myself with guilt. This can be done with any fear. Think it; feel it; face it; observe it; let it go. When we avoid our guilt and other fears, they take up residence within us. It is only by facing them that we can let them go and experience freedom.

Author's Bio: 

William Frank Diedrich is a author, speaker, and executive coach. To order his new book: Adults at Work ($12 USD),
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Books by William Frank Diedrich:
The Road Home
30 Days to Prosperity
Beyond Blaming
Adults at Work