When my friend was in school, she said something nasty about a person. The principal heard and she was penalized. She was mortified and, I am guessing she never said anything of that sort again. Though the memory is of a past long gone, she can’t help but feel guilty over what she said and hence, she takes occasional guilt trips down the memory lane.
Guilt is an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes —accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation. (According to Wikipedia)
I am quite positive that all of us have done something nasty or something where our conduct has violated a moral standard:
š Pushing a person away when all they wanted from you is a little bit of time and love
š Being rude to parents and there have been many times, when I haven’t been able to sleep after that
š Letting ego get in the way and giving kindness a skip
š Unable to help the helpless because, well, you have been lazy
š Not taking out time for a friend who has, in turn, done SO much for you
We have all been there, done that. And as human being, we are just a flawed creation. So no matter how perfect we try to be, there will always be something that we are not good at, something we just can’t do it right no matter how correct our intentions are.
“What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ The boy answered, ‘I will not.’ But later he had a change of heart and went. The father went to the other son and said the same thing. This boy answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They said, “The first.”
So the bottom line is you and I ARE going to mistakes. But then we might have a change of heart and feel guilty about what we did. We might just go back and try to clean up the mess; but let’s face it, most of the times one doesn’t get a second chance. When that happens, I just concentrate on making new mistakes and try not to repeat the old ones, which might have strained relationships and broken friendships.
You see, feeling guilty is not a bad thing. If channeled in the right direction, it might just stop us from falling off the track.