But it's not entirely without its purpose. Imagine a world in which no one felt guilty about anything.- Maria Schriver
Though guilt is most often presented as a negative and destructive emotion, there is this neglected or hidden aspect about guilt: it's a vital component of a healthy conscience and the sign of spiritual sensitivity. This positive and constructive side of guilt which nudges us to offer an apology, make an amend, seek forgiveness, restore a relationship and clear our conscience.
Furthermore, good guilt moves us to accept responsibility for our actions and, as we do that, we develop a deeper humility. Three of the hardest words to say are “I am sorry.” It is our pride, our ego which makes it difficult to speak say those words. Without the prodding of guilt we can deflect responsibility by blaming others, pretending no one noticed our infraction, and or simply justify our conduct.
When guilt emerges in your life, look at it closely. Pay attention because it's a signal to take a second look at what is going on. Recognizing and responding to the source of guilt with wisdom, maturity and compassion liberates us to live in a healthy relationship with others and with ourselves. Then guilt becomes beneficial, not damaging.
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