Healthy vs. Unhealthy Guilt
No one of us drinks the chalice of our existence to the last drop.
None of us is fully obedient. Each of us falls short of the human
nature entrusted to us. — Johann Baptist Metz
I believe that people miss out on a lot when they fail to understand themselves as sinners. It is not about ‘neurotic guilt’. Guilt that is based on reality is focused and deals with an event, or areas of life that we need to deal with that cause harm to others, or to ourselves.
(“Healthy guilt is typically caused by something we did or didn’t do. It’s limited and concrete. It’s attached to thoughts of remorse and repair. The sin is accessible to our conscious experience. A vital part of us knows we’ve acted against our conscience. And when we really let the feeling in, we’ve got motivation to work at repair.
Unhealthy guilt can happen for a number of reasons. In many cases we have it because we’re unconsciously trying to avoid the real guilt and other feelings associated with taking responsibility for our actions. But even as we deny or defend against what we did we still go on punishing ourselves with self-criticism, self-sabotage, and feelings of worthlessness.”)
Conversion demands the virtue of humility, which is the ability to deal with the truth about ourselves, which is often very difficult. The Christian path demands this honesty, which deepens as we grow in our trust in God’s mercy. Once we understand that it is all seen by our loving Father, we can face what needs mercy, and healing without collapsing into depression self-pity No drama, just truth.-Br.MD