Rid of Guilt and Shame!
I Do Is Not Necessarily Who I Am
This article is actually Life Rule 3 from my book, The
Game Rules for Life, published in June 2000.
It approaches Guilt from a general point of view.
how we love to languish in our guilt and shame. For some, it is
almost as essential as food and water. But guilt is perhaps one
of the most destructive, debilitating emotions we humans
possess. It is absolutely useless to anguish over something
which has been done that we cannot change.
there is any good to guilt at all, it is and should be
short-lived. For instance, when we do something wrong, our
conscience rebukes us. This initial stage is the only beneficial
aspect to guilt, since it prompts us to realize our mistake and
make the necessary changes.
people use self-chastisement to steer themselves back on course.
They learn the lesson, make amends, modify their behavior, lose
the guilt, and move on with life. The problem is that few people
can actually do this. It seems that just about everyone feels
the pain of guilt over something they have done, or should have
done. And where does it get them? Absolutely nowhere.
There is something that comes from unresolved guilt: alcoholism,
drug abuse and other types of self-destructive behavior;
depression, unfulfilled lives, unattained potential,
relationship problems, physical ailments including unexplained
bodily pains, and a host of other life destroying problems. Did
you notice anything good here?
Shame and Self-Worth
is a direct relationship between guilt, shame and self-worth. It
is widely known that guilt is when we feel bad about something
we did, while shame is when we feel bad about ourselves. Either
way, when we carry a burden of guilt or shame, we invariably
have low self-esteem. This sense of low or no self-worth leads
to many self-imposed problems including the previously cited
physical and social illnesses. And this opens a plethora of
self-destructive emotions. In essence, we turn on ourselves like
a ravaging disease.
some point in our lives, each one of us has no doubt observed
this notable and undeniable truth: nobody
ever seems to feel good enough about themselves. We are too
fat, too thin; we don’t like our nose, our chin, our hair, our
behind; and so the shame list goes on and on without end. We
incessantly torment ourselves over whatever it is that we
don’t like. Further, we associate whatever it is that we don't
like with our self-worth. In our minds, as long as this
"something" exists, we are somehow just not good
enough—we carry a more damaging form of guilt called shame,
and the effects are the same—self-destructive.
will we begin to appreciate our own uniqueness?
Whenever we compare ourselves physically with others in
an unfavorable way, we cheat ourselves out of our own
individuality. The media would have us believe that we must be
in style with the latest fad. But is it really written somewhere
that we must all look alike? or dress alike? or act alike? Very
likely, the only place it is written is in our minds.
than put ourselves down continually, we must work hard to
concentrate on our positives, focusing on that which makes us
unique and likable. We all have things that we would change if
we could. Even people who we
think have it all, don't. Nobody has it all because no one
is perfect. We all realize this and yet continue to criticize
and insult ourselves. Now is the time to stop
this nonsense! Change what you can change and accept the rest as
a necessary part of your own unique humanity. Make peace with
who you are.
"If Only's" can be unsettling:
"If only I
had raised the children better; if
only I had taken a different route home; if
only I had told him or her how I really felt; if
only I had seen it coming; if
only I had made a different choice…" We can "if
only" ourselves to death.
some of us are not as prone to the if
only’s as others, but we all suffer occasionally from this
mental aberration to one extent or another. The if
only's are yet another form of guilt, and carry serious
risks to our mental health. They can also lead to shame if we
begin to feel bad about ourselves instead of something we did.
We never live up to our true potential because we perpetually
denigrate ourselves right down to the foundation of our very
how do we neutralize the if
only’s? One way is by adopting the philosophy that as a
rule, all of us are trying to do our best, with the knowledge,
experience and resources that we possess at the moment. We all
wish we could somehow make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s
knowledge and experience, but life just doesn’t work that way.
We know this, and yet we cling to this self-sabotaging behavior.
Let’s be reasonable and realistic—we
can only do so much.
all fairness, it may be said that the concept of "If
Only" can be used positively. If we use it to avoid certain
known pitfalls down the road, it can be indispensable. For
example, my father has "If Only…" displayed on the
dashboard of his car. He uses it to remind himself to fasten his
seatbelt. He never wants to say in the future, “If
only I had put my seatbelt on, I or a passenger would not
have been hurt.”
Over Childhood Mistakes, Trials and Abuse
guilt can cause much deep-seated pain to a person. I have
sometimes looked back on certain of my own childhood mistakes,
only to cringe over the embarrassment that I feel as an adult.
Mistakes we made in childhood should be understood and reckoned
with in the same manner as any other mistakes we make. As long
as we learned the lesson, we are better for having had the
experience than before it. It has added to the total of who we
are, and given us cause for empathy toward others.
common childhood trial is that of divorce. Some children may
feel very responsible and therefore, very guilty when their
parents divorce. They may carry this guilt into adulthood before
they realize that it was
not their fault at all. In fact, it had nothing to do with
them, and everything to do with their parents. Once this
realization occurs, the guilt will usually melt away.
childhood mistakes can seem very unreasonable or even laughable
to adults, but weigh heavily on such impressionable and
inexperienced young ones. A very nice acquaintance of mine once
wrote a story of how she believed that she had started World War
II when she was only eight years old. She wrote:
year was 1941. I was sitting at my desk daydreaming. The rest of
my class was studying the civil war. "Wouldn’t it be
wonderful to live during a war - so romantic." This
daydream was to haunt me for many years. Be careful what you
wish for, it may come true.
On [a] particular Sunday, we were driving home from seeing
“The Three Little Foxes” when the news came on that Pearl
Harbor had just been bombed. The Japanese had attacked by air
and sank most of our fleet.
We were at war. I felt as if I was the most horrible, deplorable little girl in the world. I had wished for
this vulgar thing, and my wish had come true. It was my fault
all these men were dead. I stayed miserable for four years.
On my way home from school it was my habit to pick up the mail
for our next door neighbor and us. Our neighbor, Ruby, would
always wait on the porch in nice weather to see if I brought a
letter from her fiancée who was in the service. One day I
pulled an envelope out of the box addressed to Ruby. It had a
black border around it and I knew instinctively what it
contained [her fiancée had been killed]. The hardest thing I
ever had to do was walk that distance to her house and hand her
the envelope. She looked at it and screamed and screamed. Her
mother came out of the house and retrieved the envelope and
gently helped Ruby into the house.
How I hated myself for ever making that wish!
My cousin George came home from the South Pacific where he had
been a top turret gunner on a B29. He was thin and looked much
older…. I confided to him [that] I was the true reason for his
agony and how the war was my fault for having made that long-ago
wish. God had answered it. [George] put his arm around me and
gently explained how the war really started. God hadn’t given
me my wish. The plans for the war were well in place before I
made my wish.
I had a new hero who had finally taken all my self-torture away.
Next to my brother, he was my best hero." —"The
Wish" by Audrey Gross, February, 2000
this story, it is easy to see how guilt can plague even
children. Parents need to use discernment and help their
children to release any guilt so that it doesn't consume their
more serious form of childhood suffering concerns something that
I have fortunately experienced only second hand—child
molestation. In addition to several people I have known, a
person once very close to me was molested as a child, so my
knowledge of this dreadful injustice comes directly from my own
agonizing experience in trying to help her.
am ceaselessly shocked at the prevalence of child sexual abuse.
I am not talking here about children being "gender
curious" with other children. I am talking about sexual
molestation committed by those whom are trusted and looked up
to, such as clergymen, scout or youth group leaders, friends and
relatives—adults who should know better.
am also amazed at the profound and devastating effect sexual
molestation has on such young and tender hearts. This sort of
atrocity is almost unforgivable. Once this act is committed, the
little child loses his or her innocence, which is a crime in
itself. The child is now forever changed and is totally
confused, because an authority figure has crossed intimate
personal boundaries that the child was not yet fully aware of.
This gross misdeed can never be undone.
times, the child will push the ordeal back to the furthest
reaches of his or her mind. They effectively cease to remember
it consciously, only to have it return years later. His or her
precious self-worth is utterly annihilated.
sexual abuse is best described as a ticking time bomb. There may
be few outward demonstrations of anything wrong to the untrained
eye, and this may likely continue into adulthood. But once the
person matures enough in life, the bomb explodes and memories
come gushing forth like the flood of water that assaults a
valley just below a broken dam. It is unstoppable. Nightmares,
flashbacks and many tears are the norm. Emotional immobility is
intense. Life problems escalate. Some victims are completely
unable to function any longer in routine activities. And not to
be dismissed or minimized is the brutal impact this can have on
family members, close friends, and relationships. They too must
learn to cope and heal from the pain.
often, sexual abuse results in intensified self-destructive
behaviors, such as increased depression and mental instability;
suicide is even a possibility. In reality, these new behaviors
were likely preceded by other self-destructive behaviors, but
again, only recognizable to the trained observer. Such behaviors
Depression and emotional/mental instability;
Alcoholism and/or drug addiction;
An inordinate interest in sex, manifesting itself as
promiscuity and/or obsession with
Unnatural craving for attention from the same or opposite
An excessive distrust of others, or the extreme opposite;
Reckless lack of concern for their own well-being, or the
extreme opposite, e.g. taking
themselves too seriously;
Failed marriages and relationships;
Finding little or no meaning and purpose in life;
A deep sense of futility;
Inability to function normally or even not at all;
Little or no sense of self-worth;
Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse of others;
Being introverted and shy, or the extreme opposite;
Phobias, such as fear of public places and small spaces;
Physical ailments, such as tremors and unexplained bodily
has been my experience that this ticking time bomb usually blows
up when a person enters their early 30's, give or take a few
years. This is typically how long it takes before a person burns
out from expending the enormous amount of energy required to
keep up the self-illusion, that is, the subconscious lie they
force themselves to believe—that
it never happened.
you are suffering from childhood molestation, Take Heart! Help
is not far off! You can take steps to heal your deep wounds. The
first thing to do is immediately consult a competent
psychiatrist, therapist or counselor, if you haven't already. I
advise against the clergy because, while they may provide
understanding and comfort, they are simply not equipped with the
necessary professional skills to help you.
want to warn here of some possible dangers: confiding in or
turning to friends or family as your primary
means of recovery; and dealing with repressed memories. You must
handle these with discretion for the following reasons:
Many who have suffered the effects of childhood sexual
molestation do not have their lives under control, and
consequently may not
have chosen the best quality of friends. Confiding in a
"friend" can backfire on you, because even though we
all like to think that we have a friend who will understand and
be there for us, most people cannot handle the intensity and
longevity that your healing may take. It can be a tremendous
setback in your healing process when a friend backs away because
they do not know how to handle your problems—which only adds
to your guilt. This is sad, but understandable. You must
honestly admit that even you do not know how to handle the
situation without professional help, so it is logical that they
wouldn't either. Avoid putting them in this position if you are
not absolutely sure, and then think twice before proceeding to
self-disclose to a friend.
In my own experience of helping a victim cope, I found that
confiding in your parents must also be handled with extreme
caution. This admonition may strike you as quite absurd,
especially if you are close with your parents, but read on. If
one or both of your parents were molested themselves, or if they
personally knew the person that molested you (which is likely),
then they may be whirling and lost in a black hole of denial,
and emotionally unable or unwilling to emerge. To believe and
accept your story may bring more pain than they are willing to
confront at this point in their lives. It may open deep wounds
from their past, or remind them of the guilt they may have felt
for not protecting you.
am not saying that you shouldn't confide in your parents, but
you must use discretion. You do not want to go through the
terrible trauma of dealing with past abuse, only to face the
added trauma of denial from those closest to you. Without proper
professional help, you may feel pushed over the edge.
Repressed memories can be vague, ambiguous and distorted. The
reason being that the events happened long ago, and are
remembered through the eyes of a child. One time several years
ago, I was trying to help the person mentioned above deal with
her memories of abuse. Over a period of a couple of years, she
began to remember and describe a number of misdeeds her abuser
had committed against her—even having terrible nightmares of
the incidents. We finally decided that she should write a letter
and confront her abuser. Since she was emotionally distraught, I
began the letter listing the abuses for her. I grew concerned
when she began to prevaricate or evade the matter. I finally
asked her, "Did these things actually occur or not?"
She replied, "Not all, but some." I have to admit that
I was shocked. For two years, we had gone through serious
emotional distress because she was adamant that these abuses had
occurred. But now, I discovered that the most serious offenses
were simply empty memories—they were not true at all. Needless
to say, we did not finish the letter.
is the danger of repressed memories. You must seek competent
professional help to determine whether they are real or imagined
(which incidentally, we had not done at the time). What a
tragedy it would be if you mistakenly accused a family member of
abuse that never really happened.
If you are a victim of childhood sexual abuse, remember, it
is not your fault! You
were a helpless victim, not a perpetrator. Work hard to resolve
any feelings of guilt you may still harbor. Seek a knowledgeable
and experienced therapist. If you do, there is every reason in
the world to believe that you will get past this difficult
period in your life!
note to the family and friends of abused children
you are a parent, sibling, spouse, or friend of a person who was
sexually abused, you must understand that very little else
compares to the pain and horror that the victim feels. You must
also understand that the healing process can take time. The more
understanding and support that you give, the better it will go.
worst thing you can do as a parent is to deny that the abuse
took place. Even if you have legitimate doubts concerning
whether the abuse actually took place or not, that does not
change the victim's reality. Only regular therapy from a
competent and trained counselor will bring out the truth. In the
interim, you must accept that the past abuse is painfully and
vividly real to the victim. He or she needs your unfailing love
and support to make it through the process of healing—not your
underestimate the negative power of denial. In my above personal
experience, the adult victim's parents would listen to her
tearful cries of past abuse, but did not really seem to believe
it. My personal observation of why goes right back to the feeling of guilt by her parents. As a
child, the victim did go to her parents to complain of the abuse
(as so many children do). However, the matter was not taken
seriously and quickly dropped because the abuser was an older
teenage son of trusted friends, all of who denied that anything
had happened. It also did not help that the parents were heavily
involved with the abuser's parents in a local church. In short,
her parents failed to protect her because they apparently did
not believe her accusations nor possess the self-confidence to
stand up for what was right in the face of strong personalities.
This was deplorable,
because there were also complaints from other young girls,
including the victim's sister. Guilt is a powerful emotion. It
can keep people in a dark and emotionless vortex, indefinitely
I have just described a situation that you can identify with,
then take immediate action to stop your denial! You may not
realize it yet, but it is destroying the relationship you have with your child! Seek the
forgiveness of your child for your denial. Then resolve to never swim in the vast sea of denial again.
if you are a parent who feels guilt over the abuse of your
child, and are doing all you can to help, then you too take
heart. There is hope, for your child and for your own feelings
of guilt. Keep reading and apply the techniques discussed below
in the subheading, How to
Get Rid of the Guilt.
and Shame Motivation
would be remiss if I did not address another form of guilt that
often comes our way—guilt or shame motivation. We see this
type of manipulation in dysfunctional families and certain areas
of culture, such as religion. Our belief system, including our
spiritual and religious values, can play an integral part in
whether or not we are motivated by guilt, or worse, shame.
combating guilt motivation, it is important to understand
precisely what it is. Motivation by guilt is nothing more than
an effort to control—a personal boundary violation. As an
example, for many centuries religionists have taught the
doctrine of Hell Fire in an effort to control and manipulate the
masses. It was so easy: “If you don’t conform, you’ll burn
in hell forever.”
a broader sense, we may be victims to similar reasoning from our
friends, family or others. If you were ever told, “You’d
better do this or you’ll never amount to anything,” then you
were being manipulated by guilt. Closely related, but worse yet,
is shame motivation. This is evident if you were ever told,
"You're stupid" or "You're no good." These
were efforts to control you through guilt and shame—an
appalling misdeed. You might as well have strings attached to
who profess certain religious beliefs have a huge moral
responsibility not to engage in guilt motivation, keeping in
mind the Biblical admonition: God’s "commands are not
you feel the bite of this dysfunctional type of motivation, it
is important that you re-establish your personal boundaries,
that is, what you will or will not accept from those trying to
control you. Resolve to quit buying into dysfunctional
reasoning. Don’t be a puppet.
to Get Rid of the Guilt
knowing the destructive power of guilt and shame, just how do
you bring it under control? I recommend the following two
principles and subsequent steps:
a Realistic View of Imperfection and Sinfulness Is an
Essential Part of the Solution.
For many years, I agonized over a mistake that I had made when I
was 14 years old. I was helping at my church in a position that
involved collecting money for various religious books that
church members wanted. On one occasion I quietly slipped a $20
bill into my pocket—I stole it. I can't remember what I spent
it on, but it was certainly nothing virtuous. That one incident
bothered me so much, that a few years later and over a period of
time, I replaced the money several times over to
"atone" for my sin. I now know that it was simply the
foolishness of a kid. But I used to wonder why in the world I
would ever do something like that, in essence, to steal from
God. I knew inside that I was not a thief. I knew that I had
many other qualities that were positive, but that one incident
continued to haunt me for almost two decades. Then one day I
realized a critical truth:
I do is not necessarily who I am.
realized that no matter how hard I tried to do what was right, I
could never do it perfectly all
the time. Yes, I had to come to terms with the fact that I made
more mistakes than I liked to honestly admit thus far.
the significant thing was, although I made my fair share of
mistakes, this did not mean I was a worthless or wicked person.
So, I finally accepted the fact that it
is okay to make mistakes, as long as I learned the lesson,
made amends, and then moved on with life without making the same
a New Viewpoint Toward Guilt Is the Other Essential
As with other burdens that we carry, I had to get fed up. I had
to get angry over carrying a burden of guilt all my life for one
petty, ridiculous thing after another. This anger gave me the
freedom to stop carrying unnecessary guilt (which means all
guilt, since all guilt is unnecessary after it performs its
initial task). Frankly, I was tired of carrying the burden.
I began to reason that if God wants me to be perfect, He could
make me perfect. If He is not willing to do that, then it
follows that He must be willing to overlook minor infractions.
This being the case, I do not have to feel so bad about myself
when I make mistakes.
don’t get me wrong—this way of reasoning was NOT a license
to do whatever I wanted with impunity. Quite the contrary, I
would continue to do my best to live an honest and clean life.
But now, I would recognize and accept that my “best” each
day would vary. Some days, because of circumstances, my
“best” was better than other days. Some months were better
than other months, and so on.
we find that we have stumbled, here are six steps we can use to
Admit and accept the
Anytime we stumble, no good will come of the lesson unless we
first admit that we have made a mistake, and then accept it. If we don't, then we are in a state of denial. In this
state, it is easy to take ourselves too seriously, a commonality
in codependents and those who may be spouses or children of
alcoholics or substance abusers. Taking ourselves too seriously
occurs when we cannot accept our own imperfect nature; or when
we have unreasonable expectations of ourselves (for example,
have you ever observed someone who cannot laugh at themselves?).
At some point, we must reconcile that we can't control
everything in life, including making mistakes. If I have just
described you, remember: It
is okay to make mistakes, as long as you benefit from the
Learn the lesson
Once we admit and accept that we have made a mistake, then we
must ask the "Why?" question to discover our
motivations. Was it just a thoughtless blunder? Did we say
something without thinking? Then perhaps the lesson is to be
more careful with people's feelings next time, or think before
What if we intentionally
do something against someone else? Again, why? Was it out of
anger or revenge? Then perhaps the lesson is to gain control of
our emotions and show empathy for others. No matter what we have
done, there is a reason and a lesson contained therein. Take the
time to discover both.
consideration of this second step, we can avoid the pain of
relearning the same lessons over and over again.
Forgive yourself first. We
cannot control whether another person will forgive us or not,
but we can control whether we
will forgive us or not. It is unhealthy not to forgive ourselves
for being imperfect. After all, can we really be any other way
than imperfect? We can go through the remainder of these six
steps, but if we do not forgive ourselves, then we carry the
burden of guilt indefinitely—with damaging results. This whole
Game Rule revolves around letting go of unnecessary guilt, which
means all sustained guilt. The primary way to let go is to
forgive yourself unconditionally,
before you seek forgiveness from the injured party.
Make amends if possible.
Once we have forgiven ourselves for our mistake, then it
is critical that we endeavor to make amends to the person(s) we
Sometime back, I
had an experience with a very good client who had also become a
friend. One day, I received a fax at my brokerage office from
her, giving me instructions on a stock trade. I thought it was
odd for her not to call as she had always done previously. I
became more concerned when I realized that I had not seen nor
spoken to her for about two months. I just figured that she was
busy over the holidays. When I tried to call, I only got her
answering machine. This only deepened my concern. Listening to
my gut feeling, I faxed her back a note confirming her trade
instructions and asked if I had done something to offend her.
Several days passed and I heard nothing. Then I received another
fax from her detailing how she was displeased with a stock trade
I had done three months earlier that resulted in extra
commissions being charged. This was an honest and unwitting
mistake on my part, so much so, that I hadn't even noticed.
Since I make it a practice to always deal honestly, sincerely
and above board with my clients, I felt bad that I had not
caught it sooner. What was I to do?
I decided to
simply stop by her house unannounced and explain. I did not want
to chance a telephone call for fear that she would not talk to
me. As it turned out, she gave me the chance to explain. I was
sincerely sorry for the goof and expressed it by saying, "I
apologize to you from the bottom of my heart." I also
extended my "profuse apologies" to her several times
and begged her forgiveness. Fortunately, she accepted my apology
and we continue to be friends.
The above phrases
that I used to apologize are very good, but only if they are truly sincere. They are not techniques to be used
just to get off the hook. We must use heart-felt honesty and
sincerity when we implore the wronged individual to forgive us.
If we do not truly feel
what we are saying, the other person will instinctively know,
and we will not regain that person's goodwill. Therefore, our
attempt at making amends may likely fail. And frankly, we have
no business asking for forgiveness if we are not truly sincere,
or if we are just "faking" it to resolve a conflict.
though, if we genuinely try to make amends, but the other person
refuses to accept them? The simple truth is that when we
sincerely ask for forgiveness, the ball is in the other person's
court, so to speak. It is now entirely up to them whether they
will accept our apology or not. If they will not accept our
earnest appeals to redeem ourselves, then we are at an impasse,
because we cannot control another person or their feelings. So
if amends are not possible, then we must learn what we can from
the incident, and move on. We must come to peace with that which
we cannot change.
There is a danger
though, if we stop at this step. If amends are out of the
question, then our feelings of guilt can be quickly amplified to
the point of emotional-immobilization. Especially is this true
if we have lost a close friend due to our error. We must also be
careful that our guilt does not grow into self-pity, which in
turn can cause us to play the role of the victim. Like guilt,
self-pity has no real value.
we are the one who was wronged, we must think carefully when
another comes to apologize. We may be very upset over the
matter, but we should always make it easy for another to seek
our forgiveness. It takes courage, self-honesty, and humility to
approach a person to settle a mistake against him or her. We
must keep in mind that we too err on occasion, and we certainly
would want understanding, kindness, and graciousness shown to us
when we are appealing for forgiveness.
Please weigh this
matter very carefully, for it must be used with extreme caution.
If we only want to tell in
an effort to gain our own forgiveness, then this is not the
place to get it. We must forgive ourselves within, not based
on someone else's forgiveness.
Modify your behavior so
you don't make the same mistake again.
If we have come this far in resolving our guilt over some
mistake we made, but don't change our ways, then of what value
is it? It is imperative that we don't stop at just learning from
the lesson. We must actually weave the benefits of the lesson
into our psyche and make it an integral part of who we are. By
so doing, we stack the odds against making the same mistake
above experience that I had with my client and friend, I can say
with full confidence that I paid much closer attention to detail
from then on, and especially when it concerned her—I learned
the lesson and modified my behavior.
Lose the guilt and move
forward with life.
This final step can sometimes be achieved without much effort,
because it is a natural conclusion to the five steps before it.
Consider how this is so: If we have accepted and admitted the
mistake, then we are not in denial. Then, we determine why we
made the mistake and learn the lesson. After that, we humbly
forgive ourselves first, because we have learned from our
mistake and are now a better person with one more important
lesson under our belt. Next, we try everything we can to make it
right with the one we wronged. If we are successful in making
amends (or even if we are not), we must make the necessary
changes in ourselves to avoid making the mistake again. Now, the
only logical thing to do is to let go of the guilt and move
forward with life, and this time, much better equipped.
six steps should help us to resolve almost any relationship
mistake we might make, but only if we really
use them. We must resolutely choose to STOP suffering the
burden of needless and unnecessary guilt any longer! (Remember
that all sustained guilt is needless). Properly managing guilt
and shame is one of life's most important Game Rules, but also
one of the hardest to master.
if you have made serious mistakes in life, carrying a burden of
guilt will do no lasting good after you have learned the lessons
contained therein. If you have hurt someone, do all you can to
redeem yourself. If you cannot redeem yourself for some reason,
then apply the six remaining steps above.
have you taken a wrong step or made a serious slip-up? Welcome
to life! We all have made serious blunders to a greater or
lesser degree. It’s time to quit agonizing. Rest
assured, comparatively few humans are ruthless and evil,
and you are not likely part of this small group. So take yourself
back! Become empowered! Refuse to surrender to bad feelings
about yourself any longer!
ahead and contemplate your guilt, your shame, but
only briefly, then
Guilt & Shame
"The ineffable joy of forgiving and being forgiven forms an
ecstasy that might well arouse the envy of the gods."
"Forget your mistakes, but remember the lessons they taught
you." —Author Unknown
"He who makes no mistakes doesn’t do anything."
— Author Unknown
"We cannot make today’s decisions with tomorrow’s
knowledge and experience." —Author
"The past should be a springboard, not a hammock."
"Never let yesterday use up today." — Author Unknown
"Failure is an event. It is not a person." — Zig
"To live is to battle the trolls in the vaults of the heart
and brain." —Henrik Ibsen
"The guilty think all talk is of themselves."
"Guilt upon the conscience, like rust upon iron, both
defiles and consumes it, gnawing and creeping into it, as that
does which at last eats out the very heart and substance of the