Quotes for
the Journey:

Guilt



  
Let other pens dwell on guilt
and misery.  I quit such odious
subjects as soon as I can.

Jane Austen

   

Nothing can produce so great a serenity of life as a mind free from guilt and kept untainted, not only from actions, but purposes that are wicked.  By this means the soul will be not only unpolluted but also undisturbed.  The fountain will run clear and unsullied.       -Plutarch

   
It is not a gain that guilt should be wholly forgotten.  On the contrary, it is loss and perdition.  But it is a gain to win an inner intensity of heart through a deeper and deeper inner sorrowing over guilt.       -Sören Kierkegaard
   

Many people feel "guilty" about things they shouldn't feel guilty about,
in order to shut out feelings of guilt about things they should feel guilty about.       -Sydney J. Harris

   

I am suspicious of guilt in myself and in other people; it is usually a way of not thinking, or of announcing one's own fine sensibilities the better to be rid of them fast.       -Lillian Hellman

   
To make no mistakes is not in the power of people, but from their errors and mistakes the wise and the good learn wisdom for the future.       -Plutarch
    
Action and care will in time wear down the strongest frame, but guilt and melancholy are poisons of quick dispatch.        -Thomas Paine
    

I was always fraught with guilt, and it's such a waste of an emotion. It keeps you out of the moment of being where you are.       -Kyra Sedgwick

  
I've done plenty for which I could carry around a ton of guilt.  But if I do that, I cannot serve my fellow man at all, for I'll be so caught up in what's happened in the past that I won't be able to focus on the present, which is where they need me to be.  If you're carrying around guilt, make amends.  If you can't apologize to the person, write down an apology and let out all that's in your heart--then burn it or throw it away.  Let your guilt go with it.  Maybe it was your fault, but no loving person would want you to feel guilty for the rest of your life over one incident.  A spiteful or vengeful person may want that, but recognize that person for who he or she is, and don't allow that miserable person's desire to continue to control your life with the puppet strings of guilt.  Move on.  Live in today.  Be a help to those who surround you.       -Tom Walsh
    
When we hold onto the negative in ourselves it comes with endless guilt.  We hold onto a lifetime of floating visions and regrets about what we should have done or should have become.  Conscience recognizes wrong and tries to atone.  But guilt turns into resentment.  Conscience brings us closer to each other; guilt drives us apart.  Create a new feeling.  Every time guilt settles in your stomach, write "I forgive" on a piece of paper.  Send it up the chimney, tear it up and flush it, put it in the garbage.  Don't eat it.     -Jennifer James
   
Guilt is the sum total of:  All the negative feelings we have ever had about ourselves!  Any form of self-hatred, self-rejection, feelings of worthlessness, sinfulness, inferiority, incompetence, failure, or emptiness.  The feeling that there are things in us that are lacking or missing or incomplete.      -Ken Wapnick
   
Focus on guilt will always breed fear, and focus on innocence will always breed love.  Any time we project guilt onto someone else, we are fortifying the experience of guilt within ourselves.  Like blood on Lady MacBeth's hands, we cannot remove our own guilty feelings as long as we are judging others.       -Marianne Williamson
   

   
Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment.  If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean.     -Aldous Huxley
   
Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one's own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.      -Audre Lorde
   
Tereza's mother never stopped reminding her that being a mother meant sacrificing everything. Her words had the ring of truth, backed as they were by the experience of a woman who had lost everything because of her child. Tereza would listen and believe that being a mother was the highest value in life and that being a mother was a great sacrifice. If a mother was Sacrifice personified, then a daughter was Guilt, with no possibility of redress.       -Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  

   
Guilt is oftentimes the strongest witness against itself.     -Edward Counsel, Maxims
  
A guilty mind can be eased by nothing but repentance; by which what was ill done is revoked and morally voided and undone.     -Benjamin Whichcote, Moral and Religious Aphorisms
   
  
Shame is closely related to guilt, but there is a key qualitative difference.  No audience is needed for feelings of guilt, no one else need know, for the guilty person is his own judge. Not so for shame. The humiliation of shame requires disapproval or ridicule by others. If no one ever learns of a misdeed there will be no shame, but there still might be guilt. Of course, there may be both. The distinction between shame and guilt is very important, since these two emotions may tear a person in opposite directions. The wish to relieve guilt may motivate a confession, but the wish to avoid the humiliation of shame may prevent it.     -Paul Ekman, Telling Lies
  
Make friends with guilt.  Guilt is a beautiful emotion that alerts us when something is wrong so that we may achieve peace with our conscience.  Without conscience there would be no morality.  So we can greet guilt cordially and with acceptance, just as we do all other emotions.  After we respond to guilt, it has done its job and we can release it.     -Glenn R. Schiraldi, 10 Simple Solutions for Building Self-Esteem
  

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