Tue, 06/05/2012 - 17:39 — Carrie

We have all felt guilt. Pretty much every person who has ever lived has felt some measure of guilt for something they have done. Whether it's a minor sin as a child, like hitting their brother, or stealing an extra cookie; or a more major thing as an adult, we've all done things wrong, and we've all felt bad at one point or another for them.

But what about the guilt we feel because others have made us feel it? Sometimes it's justified. I remember a time as a child that I did something wrong, but I didn't realize it was wrong. It took a parent gently pointing it out to me before I felt guilt. I didn't feel guilt of my own accord. Someone else told me I should feel guilty. In that instance, they were right.

There have been many other times when I've felt guilt and I didn't have to. And when it's compounded, and drilled into you, it turns into something much more humiliating: Shame.

Shame is not a nice feeling. It's a feeling that goes deeper than just guilt. Not only that what you're doing (or were about to do) is wrong, but also that you, as a person, are somehow wrong. That you've failed at life. Failed at doing things right. Failed as a "good person". All the good things you may have done are nullified by one failed moment. You can try to measure up, but one failed moment is all it takes to be shamed again.

And perhaps you don't even think it's wrong. You may have been going along, doing your thing, making plans and living your life, when suddenly someone steps up and tells you that you're messing up. Throw in a scripture verse taken out of context and voila!, the shame comes bubbling up, making you feel like the very scum of the earth.

Sure we all make desicions that we maybe shouldn't make, but when you're an adult, people shouldn't be shaming you into making the right desicions anymore. You should never be shamed into doing the right thing. It defeats the whole purpose of doing it in the first place!


I hate feeling shamed. I hate the feeling that I somehow don't measure up. I hate feeling like I'm forced to do what someone else see's as the 'right thing'. I wish there was a way to ignore it.

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