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We can turn the unpleasant feelings of guilt into a positive, constructive experience that is beneficial for us and others.
Seeing that we have done something that is totally unacceptable can be taken in both negative and positive terms. We cannot become a better person by attacking, punishing or criticising ourselves. Our improvement depends on our not being harsh on ourselves, bringing in compassion and taking swift action to repair the unpleasant situation.
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Guilt is a normal emotion and at the right levels can be useful in our relationships, but unhealthy guilt has high levels of anxiety, pressure and shame associated with it, which can be toxic to our lives.
A natural reaction to guilt can be to compulsively apologize or to distract oneself. Our voice of guilt or conscience can be helpful if we slow down and listen to it. Identify, acknowledge, accept and allow the feeling of guilt. Check what rules were broken, including all the should’...
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