Resolving Guilt

Date: 13 April 2012

Ashwani questioned the various meaning of being guilty as Aparadhi-Doshi-Kasurwar-Muzarim. She pointed out that Guilt is a feeling of regret for being responsible for something not desirable. We form our values through experiences. As we grow we develop a firm mindset about what is acceptable and what is not to self or to the people or to the society we live in. Guilt develops when there is a conflict between our set values and our behavior. Ashwani gave an example as being homosexual may form a feeling of guilt as the behavior is not generally acceptable. Religious rituals and superstitions also make a person feel guilty. Guilt feeling can be resolved through:

Image Credit: swimparallel, cc-by-sa-2.0,
a. Address guilt and face it.
b. Understand and accept the situation and resolve issues
c. Resolve issues by communicating with the other person involved

Sudha Nagendra said that feeling is not one time affair for a thought but it keeps coming back. The thought about not giving undivided attention to the children, while they were young, keeps coming back as one had to take care of lot of relatives in the family in the early days of parenting. Through Guilt we keep punishing self.

Vani explained that Guilt is a deep sense of regret and remorse which says, “I am responsible for this.” The irony is that it is an obsessive thought. You need to put an end to that otherwise it keeps coming back. The guilt arises when

You have done some criminal act
You have broken a moral code of conduct
You have done something that you belief is wrong

Reflecting upon yourself that you are responsible for it is a false Guilt that remains active if you want to be drawn into it.

Nalini opined that Guilt arises out of our sensitivity to negative feelings. Something may develop guilt in one person and not in another person. It is not common to all for the same act. Guilt hampers personal growth, self-confidence and self-esteem. There can be two outcomes of any action

1. It can better and brighten a positive person.
2. It can sick a negative person.

Things do not go right all the time. Guilt needs to be resolved by going through it, identifying the situation and then scrutinizing. Re- living a situation from the platform of ‘I am responsible for this ‘and looking into it as a different person and perception and help overcoming guilt.

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Surekha told that when we are ashamed, sad, feel bad for what we have done and are immobilized, we feel Guilty and are angry with self. We have a choice to feel the way we want to feel about an event. Guilt coming from conscious is a great teacher and is a call for improving our self. Taking in a negative way it impedes growth as self-blame generates negative energy.

She suggested that genuine remorse after the behavior and empathy helps in resolving Guilt. Counsellors can find innovative way to resolve Guilt through changing counselee’s perception and condition him/her for self-change.

Man who chooses to be better than before is like a moon who comes out of the clouds and lightens the world.

Ram highlighted that as values are changing from time to time, from culture to culture and from environment to environment and so the concept of Guilt. Guilt is a process like a perennial river and it goes away as you accept, rationalize and justify. As an example Extra Marital Affairs are more accepted now. Guilt can’t be eliminated completely but, talking to someone, realize and don’t repeat, introspection, repent and participating in seva activities are some of the ways to manage Guilt.

Jayram feels that Guilt is not a negative factor. It is a necessary quality of life to improve. People can be helped to look at an incidence in a different way. See the negative quality as a healthy sign for initiating change.

Noothan shared that victims also feel guilty. Trauma and guilt are people’s own feeling.

inability to resolve guilt
Image Credit: Grey World, cc-by-2.0,

Sachin felt that Guilt is a perception that arises out of the conflict between values and happenings that may be past present or intended. Guilt is an outcome of feelings and not of activity. The feeling of Guilt for the intended fight in Arjun’s mind was reversed when Krishna counselled him. This changed Arjun’s perception and then guilt free Arjun initiated the war of Mahabharata. The act of war remained unchanged but the feeling of guilt was absent.

Sudha (RV12) suggested that the Guilt state should not be allowed to remain for long and should be resolved as fast as possible through open communication. Today’s working women are living in the guilt situation for not been able to give effective parenting.

Shobha said that Guilt is a result of our mindset through value creation as a process of growth. Child do not know about Guilt.

Leena told that what you think what you feel. Guilt is all about our thinking of a particular situation.

Ranga Reddy had the idea that Guilt is about our sensitivity to the happening around us.

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