Guilt Moves In Slow Motion - Grasshopper
I was talking with a friend the other day when she told me a story about her childhood. She was at the dinner table holding her baby brother when her mother poured soup in her bowl. The little brother in a flash reached for the bowl and scalded himself with the soup.
I don't have to tell you how guilty my friend felt even though she was not at fault. She then said, "Guilt moves in slow motion." I added, "Accidents happen in a split second and guilt moves in slow motion."
I take that to mean that it takes a long time to forgive ourselves. Some people never do and feel guilty for a lifetime.
If guilt spurs you to take some remedial action, then I find it useful. Otherwise it's a self-destructive emotion.
How do we speed up the process? The short answer is adopting this mindset: That was then and this is now.
I remember reporting on this following story before. One of my sons was feeling guilty about something and I asked him to do this experiment with me. I filled up a plastic cup with water and set it on the side of the sink. I then asked him to tip the cup over into the sink. He looked at me oddly but then knocked the cup over. I immediately shouted, "Get the water back in the cup." He laughed.
There is no undoing what has been done. We may need to apologize, ask forgiveness or pay a price for our actions, but carrying guilt serves no purpose and pays no dividends.
There is no way to get the water or soup back in the container. That was then and this is now.
Some people think by absolving themselves of guilt that they're somehow claiming the offending action never happened. It did happen. That was then and this is now. Guilt may have been appropriate then but there is no purpose for it now other than to make you feel miserable.
If feeling miserable were the answer, guilt would have been eradicated a long time ago.
It's easy to produce guilt, just judge a past action by a present level of awareness. To outgrow guilt, focus your awareness on now. It removes the slow from motion.
All the best,
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