Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Damn the Guilt!

Can I blame my Catholic upbringing???

Anyway, there are those who say that emotions have a productive purpose. For instance, anger can indicate boundary violations. So right now I am struggling with guilt and wondering what useful purpose it has. From some places on the web...
Guilt is like pain. Pain in your body tells you that you did something wrong to harm your body.

The pain of guilt tells you that you did something wrong to harm your conscience.

The purpose of guilt is to stop behavior that violates a self, family or societal standard. Guilt keeps score on excesses or deficits of behavior deemed undesirable and is expressed in regret and remorse.

Guilt works best to help us grow and mature when our behavior has been offensive or hurtful to others or ourselves. If we feel guilty for saying something offensive to another person, or for focusing on our careers with an 80-hour work-week over our family, that’s a warning sign with a purpose: change your behavior or else lose your friends or family. We can still choose to ignore our guilt then, but then we do so at our own risk. This is known as “healthy” or “appropriate” guilt because it serves a purpose in trying to help redirect our moral or behavioral compass.
The caveat on the 'useful purpose' deal of emotions is that the purpose is there for a short time. I.E. anger indicates a boundary indication and this is good. Fostering and nurturing the anger after the awareness of boundary violation is not good. I could be in this "too much of a good thing" period with guilt. Of course, I could just blame my Catholic upbringing.

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