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Sunday, October 8, 2023

Points on Guilt & Shame

 #1  Guilt and shame are words sometimes used interchangeably. However, there's an important distinction to make between what they refer to. Essentially, guilt is experienced based on your own principles, values, and conscience. Whereas, shame, is experienced based on the views and opinions of others - or the potential of being judged unfavorably by them.

 #2  To deal with guilt, you must be brave enough to look at yourself and see your faults and shortcomings. Many do not work through their guilt because they cannot face themselves, preferring to hold on to the illusion that they aren't to blame or take responsibility. It can be difficult even for mature and evolved individuals.

 #3  To deal with shame, you must be discerning and ask yourself what is warranted and what is not. While taking into consideration the responses of others can help you correct yourself, adapt, and fit with them, there are times when the norms must be questioned instead. 

 #4  When you experience guilt and/or shame, it serves to examine them rather than being blindly guided by them. They may arise from misguided beliefs that are needlessly limiting and even detrimental.  

 #5  If you rarely or never experience guilt or shame, it could mean that you have a refined system that keeps you aligned in what you believe, what you say, and what you do - leading you to behave properly and appropriately in most cases. Alternatively, your conscience is lacking and you are not being alerted of missteps through guilt and shame.