The Thing About Guilt

 

“There’s no problem so awful, that you can’t add some guilt to it and make it even worse.”  ~ Bill Watterson

“Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge.” ~ Audre Lorde

“So full of artless jealousy is guilt, It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.”  ~ William Shakespeare

Guilt isn’t always a rational thing, guilt is a weight that will crush you whether you deserve it or not.”  ~ Maureen Johnson

“When you are guilty, it is not your sins you hate but yourself.” ~  Anthony de Mello,

“Sometimes I just want to paint the words “It’s my fault” across my forehead to save people the time of being pissed off at me.” ~  Christina Westover

“No guilt is forgotten so long as the conscience still knows of it.” ~  Stefan Zweig

“Guilt is a useless feeling. It’s never enough to make you change direction–only enough to make you useless.” ~  Daniel Nayeri

“Guilt is a destructive and ultimately pointless emotion.” ~ Lynn Crilly

“Maybe there’s more we all could have done, but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.”  ~ Veronica Roth

***“Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.”  ~ Aldous Huxley
from the Desk of MarDrag:

I love the first quote above by Bill Watterson about there never being a problem we can’t make worse by piling a large dose of Guilt atop it. That is so true isn’t it? It is not dreadful enough that we feel badly about a problem, are having trouble finding a solution, or are worrying about it….but we have to make it even harder on ourselves by feeling Guilty about all of those things, including the problem itself. That is a lot of heaping of negative energy on top of itself to weigh us down in life…and sometimes, it can weigh us down so much, we land in a pit of darkness that we have trouble getting out of.

And then….we feel Guilty about our Guilt.

Guilt is a great, huge monster that overshadows us and feeds on all those little moments in our lives that we know we could have done better. Our lives are filled with many of those moments, because we are Human and are not infallible or perfect and we can make mistakes and have mis-takes in life. And Guilt will gobble those up and grow robust. And so too, this monster Guilt, will then gobble up all those finer and joyful moments, because Guilt can not let us have any pleasure if we are as bad as to have made mistakes. Oh no…we are not to have a happy moment if Guilt has its way.

You have all heard the expression….”Consumed By Guilt”…and so we are when we allow remorse for our blunders to take control and overcome us. When we do this, that voice of remorse will thunder in our heads, pounding the message that we are inadequate, inferior, stupid, horrid or any number of other salacious and hideous words or phrases that will serve to make us feel bad about ourselves….and then the monster swoops in and devours those thoughts and renders us lost in a shadow of Guilt.  And when we are consumed in this way, we are no longer of our True Selves……for no one can live a full life without some mis-takes and regrets. But, it is whether we learn a lesson and hear the message they have to tell us that marks whether we will be consumed by this great beast we call Guilt. That is not to say that we should never feel remorse, or feel that we are sorry if we said or did something that hurt someone else…..just that we should not let it eat us alive.

Like Fear, Guilt is another monster we give up our power to and it thrives on it, munching on all the morsels we throw it because we can not forgive ourselves…for being Human.

But, consider this…Guilt is an emotion that WE create. WE give it Power. And, it replaces, in some ways, Responsibility. Whether we have done something wrong, had a misunderstanding, knowingly spoke an untruth, failed at an obligation, or any number of other mis-deeds…we panic, and in comes Guilt to take over. But if we turn and face the deed and say…”I did this or I felt this, and I take Responsibility for it”….even if we can not fix it, or were not aware of its potential impact, then we can take our Power back from Remorse and use that Power to either find a solution or to forgive ourselves, feeding those two positive alternatives instead, and starving Guilt of its crumbs.

Guilt is destructive and does not lead us to any kind of positive outcome. Its purpose is to find fault, and then punish, and leads only to more pain and sorrow. But we can beat this monster by taking away its food, by owning up and amending, and this great monster will whither and free us to have our True Selves emerge again…..for are we not all Beautiful even with our imperfections?

Better yet, when Guilt would have our souls….we should feed it Love and Light and Happiness and Joy….and give it gas, to explode its overblown self….and then do the best we can to live a good life, shining our dazzling Light and Beauty…as it is meant to be.

Blessings!

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9 comments on “The Thing About Guilt

  1. Good Morning Madrag and everyone!

    I took my time with todays blog to let in sink in. “Consumed by guilt”, “feeling guilty about feeling guilty”. I am ‘guilty’ of both of these. (lol – a little play on words right there).

    It’s amazing how long a person can feel guilty about something. In fact, after a while, feeling guilty becomes a way of life. The longer I have sat in guilt, the more normal it felt. And now, after reading your wise words, I can see that I fed the guilt monster every chance I got!

    Guilt really is a beast.

    Thank you for a very thought provoking blog! oxox

    • “The longer I have sat in guilt, the more normal it felt”

      Very profound words in their truth Boobah! That is the tragedy of Guilt, that it becomes a normal way of life…and that is not the quality of life we all deserve.

      I hope the blog helps you in changing that pattern!

      Hugs and have a great weekend! 🙂

  2. Hi Mar – Thanks for blog. I’ve learned to fess up right away about guilt I feel and it sometimes turns out that the guilt was only in my head and the offense I thought I caused went unnoticed but my feeling of guilt had to be there for a reason. Maybe it was a lesson to think twice before repeating the same action towards someone else that may be offended. Does that even make sense?

    I didn’t recognize Bill Watterson’s name so I googled him. I Love Calvin and Hobbes! Is it pronounced ‘hobs’ or ‘hoe-bees’?…. Anyway I think I will start googling the names of all the authors you quote.

    Happy week-end 🙂

    • It certainly does make sense Ice! That is really the point after all…to learn from our mistakes so we can crush that monster Guilt. Thanks for your comment….well done!

      BTW…it is “hobs”…LOL! Sometimes, the quotes I find just have the name attributed but not where the quote came from so it is amusing that it came from Calvin & Hobbs! You never know where you will find a piece of wisdom!

      Happy Weekend to you too! 😀

  3. Hello all. It’s a lazy, snowy Sat. afternoon in New Jersey, and I’m loving
    every last lazy minute of it. And for one of the first times ever, I do not, and will
    not, allow myself to feel guilty for taking the afternoon off.
    I deserve every last lazy minute I can grab for myself!

    I must say I think this is one of the best posts you’ve ever written, Mardrag.
    Usually, I will find one or two passages in a post that will grab my
    attention and I will point them out when commenting. I could not point
    to just one or two aspects of the post because the entire piece made
    so much sense. Well done and thank you.

  4. No more guilt!! As you said, we not only have to deal with the day to day, the problems, finding solutions, etc, but also guilt…ugh! No wonder my shoulders hurt with all of that on them, how cant they not? That is why i say, no more guilt!! 🙂 I am afraid i may become a person with no feelings, but my goodness soapy feelings and emotions and feelings on top of the day to day just exhaust a person.

    Am enjoying my day off today. I couldn’t help waking up early, as usual, but i have taking it easy and still did some of my house work. I am having a peaceful day. I wish you all a nice one also 🙂

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