“Guilty as charged” the hammer comes down as the camera pans across from the Judge to the accused. The jury look confident in their decision as the shame faced prisoner is led away.
I don’t know what your view of guilt is like, but the above used to be my view of this word.
It seems a terrifying word doesn’t it?
This word can strike terror and fear into many people.
But what exactly is guilt and why do we feel it, and at the same time fear it?
As humans we have a deep psychological desire to remain close to others, to be liked, accepted and even admired. When others speak well of us and enjoy our company we radiate positivity, our body reflects this, endorphins are released and life seems sweet.
Guilt on the other hand stimulates a mass of negative feelings and emotions, shame, self loathing and anger are a few of them. When our body experiences these negative emotions we respond with appropriate reactions. Our thoughts become critical of ourselves and others. We may struggle to sleep soundly, our appetite may suffer too.
So, typically, how do we try and avoid these feelings? We suppress the emotion of guilt, we use distraction techniques, we might take up a new hobby or activity, we may even use drugs to mask, block out this feeling of guilt.
A failure in life or a misdeed, doing a bad thing causes us to feel guilty and shame sets in. Guilt can be seen as the act whereas shame is the feeling we might experience. Guilt arises from harm to another but shame is felt within. The act which caused the guilt may have lasted a few minutes but the shame could be felt for many decades.
If you have a low expectation of self, it may be possible to live with guilt, if however you have a higher expectation of self you will be motivated to making amends for your behaviour.
This making amends begins with taking responsibility for whatever caused the feelings of guilt and shame. Once you have taken responsibility for your actions, you can begin to ask for forgiveness, and to make amends. This only comes from confession, whether written or spoken. To confess is to confront what has happened in an open way.
No more hiding no more denying, but open dialogue to seek a better outcome. The very act of confession begins a psychological change within. Your higher self identity can, and will slowly begin to return. The tide will turn and your true self will emerge, wiser than before and humbled by what has taken place. It’s not a judge you need, nor an external jury, its courage you will need to begin this process of transformation from guilt to self reflection through to confession.
As a confession coach I will work towards helping you on this path.
My EBook may further help you; you can find it at www.confessioncoach.com.