Table of contents:
- Courage to choose yourself
- What is real guilt?
- Dual guilt
- Fear of asking for forgiveness
- The ennobling effect of guilt
Video: Guilt: The Way To Forgive Oneself - Self-development, Society
Recorded by Nina Khmurchik
In the previous article, we talked about neurotic guilt, why it is needed and how to get rid of it. Now we will talk about genuine, real guilt, which can make us not only suffer, but also understand what is really important to us in life and, accordingly, lead to positive changes in our personality
Courage to choose yourself
Genuine guilt can be divided into real and existential.
It is also correct to call existential guilt inevitable, because it will still exist, no matter what we do
Children will always be guilty before their parents, because they did not meet all their hopes and did not become as happy as they were expected to be. The fault of the children lies in the fact that sooner or later they will have to leave their parental home.
Can I fix this somehow? Do not leave, live as they tell you. But in this case, the person will be guilty before himself. He did not go his own way, which means he betrayed himself.
The wisdom of life consists precisely in choosing yourself after all
A world without perfect people
Parents are also to blame in front of their children, because they are never perfect. They will certainly make a mistake somewhere, miss something, somehow injure their child. You cannot be a perfect mother or father. And their guilt is also existential. You can't get away from her.
This guilt must be accepted and rejoiced for the fact that it exists. If we felt like ideal children or parents, then this would not correspond to reality. Our humanity is contained in existential guilt.
To understand and accept that everything in life is imperfect and not ideal, but at the same time strive for something different, better - this is probably the highest wisdom
What is real guilt?
Real, or genuine, guilt is guilt for real wrongdoing. That is, you might not have done that, but you did. Or vice versa, they did nothing when it was needed.
As we already wrote in the first article on guilt, it is sometimes possible to distinguish genuine guilt from neurotic guilt by where the guilty's gaze is directed: at himself or at another
- If you are worried that you will be punished, deprived of love and security, then you are more likely to experience neurotic guilt.
- If you are worried about the other, about the one who was harmed, and want to fix it, you are faced with real guilt.
First you realize what happened. And what happened is bad. Then repentance sets in, you feel a readiness to correct the situation, to do something for another, but, as often happens, nothing can be fixed. Then the process of redemption starts.
The very word redeem has a very understandable root. Atonement literally means a price or a ransom - it's something that I will pay for in order to offset the damage. And after the process of redemption, forgiveness must come - and, importantly, forgiveness, first of all, of oneself.
What to do if the person doesn't forgive you
Sometimes you may not be forgiven because the person is too touchy. Resentment can last and last and, most likely, it is no longer connected with you, this is already his problem.
Either you have done really serious harm to the person, and then getting forgiveness is especially important. You must definitely reach forgiveness, and if it is no longer possible to get it from the person you are guilty of, then you need to get forgiveness from someone else: maybe from a loved one to whom you tell your story, and he will forgive you. It is important that this difficult internal state is resolved.
In the book “Imaginary and real guilt. How to learn to live in peace with yourself”is an example of grave guilt, cited by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. He was visited by a man in his 80s, who had been tormented by guilt for 60 years already. In his youth, in the war, he accidentally shot his girlfriend. And all this time he could not forgive himself for it. He went to confession, repented of his sin many times, but nothing helped. And then Metropolitan Anthony invited him to ask forgiveness from the dead girl herself. Interestingly, the man had never done this before. And when he asked for forgiveness from his beloved, his torment eased.
It happens that the real guilt hides under the weight of the neurotic. The person was really guilty, let down a colleague, for example, but, trying to defend himself, begins to fight back: "Leave me alone, I am not guilty of anything!"
And as a child, his mother always told him that he was a bad, worthless, scoundrel. And to adults, he says the same to himself and does not remember that these were not his words. And now, under this yoke of self-accusations, it is so hard for him that he only wants to defend himself, only to be safe as soon as possible.
Here it is important, once you are safe, for example, in a psychotherapy session, to divide the guilt into neurotic and genuine. Asking yourself: "Are you now blaming yourself as a parent or is it about your conscience?" Because until a person overcomes his neurotic guilt, he often will not be able to feel the real one.
Fear of asking for forgiveness
You quarreled with a person, you understand that you are guilty, but something prevents you from approaching and apologizing. Very often the fear of being in an unsafe state gets in the way.
There is such a scene in my head: here you come up to a person, ask for forgiveness, and he snaps back and turns away. After all, you opened up to him, and in response such a reaction! Scary.
Here you need to work on yourself. Think, go to a psychologist and feel some degree of security. To understand that nothing terrible will happen, even if they are rude in response, because this is also just a defensive reaction.
Another option is to rethink the relationship. Think about the value of this person to you. Sometimes the realization of how much you hurt a person already puts on the second place the desire to protect yourself.
But here you also need to be careful. This is not a recipe for everyone, because if you show wisdom all the time and the other person remains in a defensive position and never asks for forgiveness, that is also not good. It is necessary to give the other space and the opportunity to realize their guilt.
The ennobling effect of guilt
Genuine guilt, oddly enough, brings a paradoxical relief. This is the moment when you realize that you have done something bad and you suffer, but on the other hand, when you live the guilt, you realize that you can be much better.
True guilt is meeting oneself imperfect
Sometimes guilt wakes up a person, and he realizes what is really dear to him. This happens sometimes suddenly, at a moment when some serious harm has followed to what is important and dear to him.
Guilt can indeed be intense and heavy, but it shouldn't be destructive. Sometimes it is very difficult to figure it out on your own. Consider whether it destroys you or changes you in some difficult way?