Make friends with guilt. Guilt is a beautiful emotion that alerts us when something is wrong so that we may achieve peace with our conscience. Without conscience there would be no morality. So we can greet guilt cordially and with acceptance, just as we do all other emotions. After we respond to guilt, it has done its job and we can release it.
Glenn R. Schiraldi
If we don't forgive ourselves for our mistakes, and others for the wounds they have inflicted upon us, we end up crippled with guilt. And the soul cannot grow under a blanket of guilt, because guilt is isolating, while growth is a gradual process of reconnection to ourselves, to other people, and to a larger whole.
Joan Z. Borysenko
The Adversary, of course, simply wants them to lay down their sins, guilt and all, and follow Him. But this type holds on to their sinfulness and their guilt for it, because otherwise, they'd have no relationship with Him at all. And, of course, no relationship can be based on guilt and survive.
Moreover, there is this completely false trial. I would participate wholeheartedly in a trial if it were to determine the guilt for 5 million murdered people and the guilt for the atrocities. But I see in this trial endless other things brought out and I have the feeling that in the shadow of the guilt of these murders the German people shall be considered guilty of everything, and in the shadow of this guilt the Americans, English, French, and especially the Russians will want to get rid of their own dirty linen.
When we hold onto the negative in ourselves it comes with endless guilt. We hold onto a lifetime of floating visions and regrets about what we should have done or should have become. Conscience recognizes wrong and tries to atone. But guilt turns into resentment. Conscience brings us closer to each other; guilt drives us apart. Create a new feeling. Every time guilt settles in your stomach, write "I forgive" on a piece of paper. Send it up the chimney, tear it up and flush it, put it in the garbage. Don't eat it.
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. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.
Parents create guilt. That is the greatest sin against humanity. To create guilt in a child is criminal because once the guilt is created, the child will never be free of it. Unless he is very intelligent it will be impossible for him to get rid of it; something of it will remain around him like a hangover.
I have been manipulated, and I have in turn manipulated others, by recording their response to suffering and misery. So there is guilt in every direction: guilt because I don't practice religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. And I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: "I didn't kill that man on that photograph, I didn't starve that child. That's why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace.
Focus on guilt will always breed fear, and focus on innocence will always breed love. Any time we project guilt onto someone else, we are fortifying the experience of guilt within ourselves. Like blood on Lady MacBeth's hands, we cannot remove our own guilty feelings as long as we are judging others.
Christianity cannot erase man's need for pleasure, nor can it eradicate the various sources of pleasure. What it can do, however, and what it has been extremely effective in accomplishing, is to inculcate guilt in connection with pleasure. The pursuit of pleasure, when accompanied by guilt, becomes a means of perpetuating chronic guilt, and this serves to reinforce one's dependence on God.
George H. Smith
One of the less attractive aspects of human nature is our tendency to hate the people we haven't treated very well; it's much easier than accepting guilt. If we can convince ourselves that the people we betrayed or enslaved were subhuman monsters in the first place, then our guilt isn't nearly so black as we secretly know that it is. Humans are very, very good at shifting blame and avoiding guilt.
As I let it out, layer by layer, Dr. Driscoll helped with the bumps and valleys. He knew just how much to draw out of me and how much I could handle. He is such an expert in his profession. He told me that the guilt I was feeling was not guilt, but regret. Guilt is a good thing. It is a mechanism by which we shouldn't make the same mistake twice. If you do something questionable, then the next chance you get to do it, guilt should stop you. I had no guilt. I had regrets, many regrets, but no guilt. It took some convincing, but he prevailed. There was always a nagging in my head, that if only I had had the guts to kill Neary myself, it would have stopped him from harming others, but that was not to be as a small boy. It does hurt that, maybe, just maybe, if I had carried out one of my many plans to kill him and myself then I could have saved victims younger than I. As victims come forward from almost all the churches where he served-and some are twenty-five plus years my junior-I feel that they would have been spared, if only I hadn't chickened out as a boy. Therein lies the answer; I was a little boy, a ten-year-old boy. Other victims of Neary were as young as six.
Charles L. Bailey Jr.
I cannot hide my anger to spare you guilt, nor hurt feelings, nor answering anger; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts. 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.
But guilt is guilt. It doesn't go away. It can't be nullified. It can't even be fully understood, I'm certain - it's roots run too deep into private and long-standing karma. About the only thing that saves my neck when I get to feeling this way is that guilt is an imperfect form of knowledge. Just because it isn't perfect doesn't mean that it can't be used. The hard thing to do is to put it to practical use, before it gets around to paralyzing you.
J. D. Salinger
In this sense every serious choice has a tragicomic dimension. For it is impossible to be a human being without choosing, and it is impossible to choose without value denials, and it is impossible to deny values without guilt. That is a very simple though, but it forms the core definition of guilt: an awareness of significant value loss for which I know myself to be responsible. Guilt is the self-knowing of moral loss.
Thomas C. Oden
The United States is primarily a guilt-based culture. The dominant method of social control in this country involves teaching people to feel guilt about not living up to personal expectations. Contrast this with shame-based cultures like Japan. As researchers Ying Wong and Jeanne Tsai explain in their paper, Cultural Models of Shame and Guilt, shame is 'associated with the fear of exposing one's defective self to others. Guilt, on the other hand, is associated with the fear of not living up to one's own standards.' In this formulation, guilt is based on failing to achieve personal ideals; shame is based on social exposure ["The Anti-Vaccine Movement Should Be Ridiculed, Because Shame Works, " Gizmodo, February 6, 2015].
Guilt is also a way for us to express to others that we are a person of good conscience. 'I feel really guilty about getting drunk last night, ' we say, when in actual fact we feel no guilt whatsoever or, at least, we could choose to feel no guilt. When people say to me, 'I drank too much last night, ' I always reply, 'I drank exactly the right amount.
Guilt is also a way for us to express to others that we are a person of good conscience. 'I feel really guilty about getting drunk last night,' we say, when in actual fact we feel no guilt whatsoever or, at least, we could choose to feel no guilt. When people say to me, 'I drank too much last night,' I always reply, 'I drank exactly the right amount.
Guilt is imposed by others on you. It is a strategy of the priests to exploit. It is a conspiracy between the priest and the politician to keep humanity in deep slavery forever. They create guilt in you, they create great fear of sin. They condemn you, they make you afraid, they poison your very roots with the idea of guilt. They destroy all possibilities of laughter, joy, celebration. Their condemnation is such that to laugh seems to be a sin, to be joyous means you are worldly.
I should have forgiven him.' 'Maybe. Maybe there's more we all could have done, ' he says, 'but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.' I frown and pull back. That is a lesson that members of Abnegation learn - guilt as a tool, rather than a weapon against the self.
I am utterly against any kind of guilt. Remember it always: if you start feeling guilty about something around me, then you are doing it on your own, then you are still carrying the voices of your parents, the priests within you; you have not yet heard me, you have not yet listened to me. I want you to be totally free of all guilt.
Despite their differences, pride, shame, and guilt all activate similar neural circuits, including the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, insula, and the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, pride is the most powerful of these emotions at triggering activity in these regions - except in the nucleus accumbens, where guilt and shame win out. This explains why it can be so appealing to heap guilt and shame on ourselves - they're activating the brain's reward center.
David D. Burns
What is the point of abusing yourself with guilt in the first place? If you did make a mistake and act in a hurtful way, your guilt won't reverse your blunder in some magical manner. It won't speed your learning processes so as to reduce the chance you'll make the same mistake in the future. Other people won't love and respect you more because you are feeling guilty and putting yourself down in this manner. Nor will your guilt lead to productive living. So what's the point?
David D. Burns
In many criminals, especially youthful ones, it is possible to detect a very powerful sense of guilt which existed before the crime, and is therefore not its result but its motive. It is as if it was a relief to be able to fasten this unconscious sense of guilt on to something real and immediate.
Whoever said that loss gets easier with time was a liar. Here's what really happens: The spaces between the times you miss them grow longer. Then, when you do remember to miss them again, it's still with a stabbing pain to the heart. And you have guilt. Guilt because it's been too long since you missed them last.
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
Guilt is a good friend, isn't it? It will stand at your back when every other friend has abandoned you, and in the face of all reason it will stay by your side, and even when you tell it, "I am moving on now," it will say, "I shall never leave you; never." If only I could find a lover as faithful as guilt.
We have been trained to feel shame and guilt basically as a means to cause fear and hesitation, to control behavior, or to oppress real freedom and joy. The origins of that are communal fear, jealousy and the desire for power over others. Consequently, many people have the addiction of using shame or guilt simply to avoid possibilities in life, and have, at the same time, a reason to avoid them-if you act spontaneously or feel joy, the result will eventually bring suffering, so you had better watch out, and don't ever forget the past shame and guilt.
Solitude is an interesting companion. It is both enemy and friend, comforter and tormentor. I spent a lot of time in Dun Cinzci's meat locker trying to decide which. Fortunately, when I tired of solitude, I had guilt to keep me company. Guilt is an even more interesting acquaintance than solitude, let me tell you. Solitude is a harsh but essentially benign attendant. Guilt, on the other hand, is a living, breathing creature, cruel and remorseless. It eats you from the inside out; devours what little hope you have left. It feeds on you, growing stronger with every accursed replayed memory, every useless recrimination." ~ Cayal, The Immortal Prince
Releasing guilt is like removing a huge weight from your shoulders. Guilt is released through the empowering thought of love and respect for yourself. Let go of standards of perfection and refuse to use up the precious currency of your life, the now, with thoughts that continue to frustrate and weaken you. Instead, vow to be better than you used to be, which is the true test of nobility.
Expiating a sin does not mean doing something opposite to wallow in guilt, but to use that same guilt to achieve full knowledge of the sin. The fault lies more not in having committed certain acts, rather in having carried them out without reaching their intimate knowledge. And this leads to committing a wrong again and again.
But no matter how much parents and grandparents may have sinned against the child, the man who is really adult will accept these sins as his own condition which has to be reckoned with. Only a fool is interested in other people's guilt, since he cannot alter it. The wise man learns only from his own guilt. He will ask himself: Who am I that all this should happen to me? To find the answer to this fateful question he will look into his own heart.
There is no life without guilt anyway, at least in the Western world. I think in other civilizations it might be different but if the world is getting Westernized all over, guilt will enter through the technology and democracy and their actions. It will come side by side so there won't be anymore innocent societies in the future I think which in fact is not such a bad thing.
I'm not interested in anybody's guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn't do it, and I didn't do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, too, for the very same reason... Anyone who is trying to be conscious must begin to dismiss the vocabulary which we've used so long to cover it up, to lie about the way things are.
The idea of original sin-of guilt with no possibility of innocence, no freedom of choice, no alternatives-inherently militates against self-esteem. The very notion of guilt without volition or responsibility is an assault on reason as well as on morality. Sin is not original, it is originated-like virtue.
A sublime religion inevitably generates a strong feeling of guilt. There is an unavoidable contrast between loftiness of profession and imperfection of practice. And, as one would expect, the feeling of guilt promotes hate and brazenness. Thus it seems that the more sublime the faith the more virulent the hatred it breeds.