The Guilt

Guilt is defined as a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offence, crime, or wrong, whether real or imagined.

Growing up under the guise of religion, you are always haunted by what’s right and what’s wrong. You are under the thumb of an entity, an officiator in the clouds who silently judges you for every word, every deed, and every failure. You feel the burden of being human.

I’m sure God, of all people (or better phrased: of all supernatural beings) understands that we are all only human, after all. We’re all prone to making bad decisions. And certainly God doesn’t mean to make you feel bad. That is better accomplished by a phone call from your mom, or your sister, or your Grandmother who all declare: “You never call!”

There are varying levels of guilt. Likely, you do not feel the same resistance to telling someone you’re busy next Friday as you do with robbing a bank at gunpoint. If you are one of the few who do experience similar levels of guilt in the aforementioned situations, please consult a psychiatrist, post haste.

Guilt is engrained in all of us. It is a moral standard our brains are automatically set to. It is remorse for having done something we should not have, or not doing what we should have.

Perhaps as a teen, you walked into a music store in the West Park Mall in Quesnel, BC and picked up a “Mother Love Bone” cassette tape. Your pulse raced, your face got hot. You looked up at the music store employee, who was high on a shelf with a feather duster. Your friends were there to cheer you on. You knew it was wrong, but you already spent your allowance on a Slurpee. Your sweaty hand slid the cassette into your coat pocket, and then you wished the store employee a “good day” without eye contact.

Perhaps, seventeen years later you still think about this incident and regret your indiscretion. Perhaps the music store went out of business shortly after your said, “indiscretion”, and you were made to feel even worse. Perhaps in church when they bellowed: “Thou Shalt Not Steal”, you were quite certain you were going straight to Hell (in a hand basket) for stealing that cassette, which turned out to be mediocre at best. I think maybe there was one good song on the whole album.

Perhaps you are still living with that guilt today, as a 30-something adult woman who really has so many other (and better) things to feel guilty about. Perhaps you should realize there’s nothing you can do about it and try to let it go. We are all only human, after all.

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