The Feeling of Guilt


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In society, the feeling of guilt in all of us can help regulate the order of society and promotes good in all of us. When we feel we have done something wrong, we feel guilty and hopefully we learnt from the mistakes and never repeat doing something wrong again. The feeling of guilt is like the gift of God. It helps us to stay on track and to self-discipline ourselves without a third party involvement. However, sometimes we might feel guilty even when we have done nothing wrong. Why is that? When this happens, it is wise to look at where this guilt comes from and dissolve this unhealthy pattern of the feeling of guilt.

Often times when we feel guilty about something even though we have done nothing wrong, the guilt comes from the fact that something bad happens to the people around us and we are not able to help them. We might feel that we are responsible for the feeling and safety of others even though we know the only person we are responsible for is ourselves. In this case, we have to understand that there are many things that we cannot control and that things happen for a reason. Maybe things happen to people so that they can learn their lessons and sometimes we have to understand that when it comes to life and death of others (including the ones we love), we have no control over especially when their death is not caused by us but simply by nature.

Another reason that we feel guilty about something happening to the ones we love and we are not able to help is that we might be lacking of self-love. We might feel that bad things are sent to hurt the ones we love as a punishment from God (in fact, it is not). We might feel that God is punishing us through putting the pain on the ones we love. When we lack self-love, we might doubt the love God or Universe has for us. We might doubt that why others or Universe/God have love for us when we ourselves do not feel worthy of love or when we do not love ourselves. This is the root of the unhealthy feeling of guilt. When this pattern of unreasonable feeling of guilt appears, we have to be aware and bring whatever we feel within to the surface in order to dissolve this pattern so as to avoid falling into the vicious cycle.

Understanding that we are not in control of how things happen to others (their emotions or life and death matter) and accepting that we are only responsible for ourselves are the keys to dissolving the unhealthy feeling of guilt. Another way is to practice the act of self-love, when we have self-love, we do not doubt about the love of God/Universe and we feel no need to blame ourselves when we cannot help the ones we love thus there will be no guilt of not being able to save them. And we will not feel that things are sent to hurt our loved ones since we know that things we have no control over are not punishments from God/Universe but are the natural cycles of the Universe.

The feeling of guilt is healthy when we actually did something that hurts others (especially if you have brought physical pain or emotional pain to others). But sometimes if you do something that is out of love (for example, ending a relationship when you see no future between you and your partner or you are not ready for commitment), even though it brings pain to others, there is no need to feel guilty about it because you are doing this out of love (to let others have options in forming a relationship with others who are ready to commit).

The unhealthy feeling of guilt can form emotional wounds in one’s life if one is not aware of this pattern. It can bring self-destructive thought forms or behaviors and can keep one in self-condemnation mode. So when the feeling of guilt comes up, ask yourself whether you did actually do something wrong or is it just the mind chatter that keeps you in unhealthy thought patterns?

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