Friday, April 4, 2014

Guilt vs. Shame

Guilt is a natural and organic feeling that comes over us when we begin to feel badly for something we did that we believe was wrong. Guilt convicts us of our immoral, unethical or unkind actions. It floats into our consciousness once the anger has passed, once our impulsive brain begins to relax and once we realize that our behavior is not in congruence with who we wish to be and how we see the world. Guilt is a healthy response to making a mistake. Guilt convicts us of the fact that our actions do not line up with our idea of who we are. Without guilt, we would not be able to correct our actions and accept responsibility for
our weaknesses and imperfections.
Shame, on the other hand, is never healthy nor helpful. It begins as healthy guilt and convicts as doing something that was wrong. However, it does not stop there. Instead of seeing ourselves as a good person who made a mistake, shame tells us that we ARE a mistake. It tells us that we are constantly making mistakes. It tells us that we are not worthy of forgiveness and not worthy of being loved. It is, as I like to refer to it “the gift that keeps on giving”.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT: " A Prescription for Contentment"

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