The same is true in most legal systems when laws are broken.
Even in 12 step groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, etc.) there is a system of recognizing and taking action for personal accountability. Look at steps 8 and 9:
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Notice the wisdom of being willing to make amends, but stopping short of doing so if it is self serving and would negatively affect the person or persons harmed.
The dark side of guilt occurs when we obsess over what we’ve done, what may have been said about us, or perhaps, what we perceive others think about us. Then, too, there are times when we might be falsely accused.
Our goal then is to “own up” to what might have happened, make amends where appropriate, being sensitive to not hurt anyone, and then, to forgive ourselves fully and completely. We can learn from each episode that occurs in our lives; both the glorious and the challenging. In turn we will discover new found knowledge and hopefully freedom…in forgiveness. This not only helps us grow emotionally, intellectually and spiritually, but can hopefully, set an example for those around us.
Ultimately, guilt can lead us to a very positive outcome and a new sense of pride.
Keep asking questions. We enjoy hearing from you.
~Mark & Norma
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