Dealing With Personal Guilt
It is an extremely powerful emotion. Webster’s Dictionary defines guilt as “(1) the fact of having committed a breach of conduct, especially violating law and involving a penalty, and (2) the state of one who has committed an offense, especially consciously.” There are two aspects as to how guilt affects us. Firstly, the state of being guilty comes from doing something wrong and almost always comes from knowing what the right thing to do is, but making the wrong choice anyway. Secondly, there are the emotions that follow as a result of knowing that we have done wrong. So guilt is both something we do and how we feel.
The question is to what extent should we feel guilt, if at all? Well let me tell you, if you are feeling guilt it just means that you are normal. In fact, a person who lacks feelings of guilt or remorse is the definition of a sociopath. Guilt is necessary. It’s our body’s way, both physically and mentally, of making us aware that we have done wrong.
This reinforces taking responsibility for our actions by remembering that sincere guilt comes from within, but when taking the healthy approach, it should also open up our perspectives beyond our own personal feelings by taking into consideration the feelings of others. Just because we may not feel guilt, it doesn’t mean that we are not guilty. Be welcoming when others attempt to share how your words and/or actions have affected them. Perhaps you didn’t realize that you were in the wrong, or you honestly feel as if you are in the right. Show compassion for their pain and seek restitution. This is another opportunity for healing and growth.
The Journey Principles book, offers a spiritual approach to healing your relationships through God’s love.
In your service,