People's lives change. To keep all your old friends is like keeping all your old clothes -- pretty soon your closet is so jammed and everything so crushed you can't find anything to wear. Help these friends when they need you; bless the years and happy times when you meant a lot to each other, but try not to have the guilts if new people mean more to you now.
Helen Gurley Brown
I got so discouraged, I almost stopped writing. It was my 12-year-old son who changed my mind when he said to me, "Mother, you've been very cross and edgy with us and we notice you haven't been writing. We wish you'd go back to the typewriter. That did a lot of good for my false guilts about spending so much time writing. At that point, I acknowledged that I am a writer and even if I were never published again, that's what I am."
The very fears and guilts imposed by religious training are responsible for some of history's most brutal wars, crusades, pogroms, and persecutions, including five centuries of almost unimaginable terrorism under Europe's Inquisition and the unthinkably sadistic legal murder of nearly nine million women. History doesn't say much very good about God.
Barbara G. Walker
The thoroughly guilty man has an advantage over all of us; he cannot be found more guilty of anything, since he has already found himself guilty of everything. This may sound like an absurdity - causing oneself extreme pain in order not to feel any number of little pains of lesser guilts and shames, but it has its own logic. A man more easily adapts to what he inflicts upon himself; as to his own judgement, he is already committed to it and willing to live with it.
Robert C. Solomon
There is a place in men's lives where pictures do in fact bleed, ghosts gibber and shriek, maidens run forever through mysterious landscapes from nameless foes; that place is, of course, the world of dreams and of the repressed guilts and fears that motivate them [i.e., the unconscious]. This world the dogmatic optimism and shallow psychology of the Age of Reason had denied; and yet this world it is the final, perhaps the essential, purpose of the gothic romance to assert.
I have these guilts about never having read Chaucer but I was talked out of learning Early Anglo-Saxon / Middle English by a friend who had to take it for her Ph.D. They told her to write an essay in Early Anglo-Saxon on any-subject-of-her-own-choosing. "Which is all very well," she said bitterly, "but the only essay subject you can find enough Early Anglo-Saxon words for is 'How to Slaughter a Thousand Men in a Mead Hall'.
Live in the present. The past is gone; the future is unknown -- but the present is real, and your opportunities are now. You must see these opportunities; they must be real for you. The catch is that they can't seem real if your mind is buried in past failures, if you keep reliving old mistakes, old guilts, old tragedies. Fight your way above the many inevitable Traumatizations of your ego, escape damnation by the past, and look to the opportunities of the present. I don't mean some vague moment in the present -- next week or next month, perhaps. I mean today, this minute.
Once upon a time there was a mother who, in order to become a mother, had agreed to change her name; who set herself the task of falling in love with her husband bit-by-bit, but who could n ever manage to love one part, the part, curiously enough, which made possible her motherhood; whose feet were hobbled by verrucas and whose shoulders were stooped beneath the accumulating guilts of the world; whose husband's unlovable organ failed to recover from the effects of a freeze; and who, like her husband, finally succumbed to the mysteries of telephones, spending long minutes listening to the words of wrong-number callers... shortly after my tenth birthday (when I had recovered from the fever which has recently returned to plague me after an interval of nearly twenty-one years), Amina Sinai resumed her recent practice of leaving suddenly, and always immediately after a wrong number, on urgent shopping trips.