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How to overcome guilty conscience? Renew yourself!

Updated on September 25, 2013

Make amendments!

Guilt is ever at a loss, and confusion waits upon it; when innocence and bold truth are always ready for expression.’ – William Congreve

Guilty conscience kills your tranquility, makes you depressed and you do not have a moment of peace. You hurt others without feeling anything about it. You do not think that you have done something wrong as you feel you are totally justified in making that person miserable. But when the effects of guilt plague you, you realize that you have done something shameful and disgraceful.

When you are young you are hotheaded and impulsive. Your childhood might have been abusive and your parents might have never taught you the values of life. You do not know what is wrong and right. You hurt and insult people without thinking and your mind does not prick you as you do not understand that you have committed a grave wrong,

But when age mellows your mind, you cringe in shame about your immoral youth. Parents have a great role in molding the character of their children so that they listen to their inner conscience when they think of doing something which might initiate guilt.

What are the repercussions of guilty conscience?

  • You feel you have committed a sin.
  • You are terrified you will be punished by god.
  • You cannot be normal.
  • You brood about it.
  • You try to justify your wrong but you cannot.
  • You feel worthless.

What are the things that make you feel guilty?

  • Cheating
  • Verbal and physical abuse on others
  • Betrayal
  • Lack of loyalty
  • Robbing other people’s money

When you do something which hurts others you do not realize the boomerang effect of your misdeed. You feel you can do anything to make the life of the person you dislike miserable. You pass unwarranted comments and do everything you can to make your hatred obvious.

What do you gather from insulting others? Absolutely nothing! You show your character in a negative light when you degrade the person relentlessly. But do you know that it has a reversal effect? I might sound melodramatic, but it is plain truth. It instigates god to come to the defense of the person whom you want to destroy, while the arrow you aimed at the person soon turns around to torture you.

It is very human to make mistakes, but very inhuman to keep repeating it. You can forgive yourself once, but when you make it a habit of offending people you will not be able to have a moment of peace. It is all well when you never know about the repercussions, but when the retaliation begins; you lose your metal equilibrium and mental happiness.

Guilt in family

You parents care for you and shelter you, but as you grow up, you totally ignore them and treat them with neglect. You make them feel lonely and they are bewildered at your callous attitude. You feel nothing about it as you do not know you are doing wrong.

But when your children grow up and ignore you and when you suffer the same bewilderment, you understand the agony your parents underwent. You want to apologize to your parents, but your parents are no more and you struggle with guilt till the day you live.

My neighbor had to suffer the tug of war between his mother and wife and it was a known fact that his wife had a biting tongue. There was a terrible fight one day at his home and I could hear him shouting profanities at his mother. A few hours later his mother came out of the house with a suitcase and told me ‘I had suffered enough, and I cannot take it any longer. I am going to an old age home’ and left. That was the last I saw her.

Two days later my neighbor came and told me that his mother had died and tears were pouring in his eyes when he said he wanted to die of guilt as he was the reason for his mother’s untimely death. ‘How could I have chased my mother away? She had brought me up with such care and love and I have done nothing but insult her. How will l live through this guilt’? I could do nothing but feel sorry for him.

Betraying the trust of your spouse

Another terrible form of guilt is when you cross the border and cheat your spouse. Physical attraction can make you senseless to leave your spouse without feeling guilty. You do not care for your children as your thoughts are drawn towards that person.

But when you betray the trust of your spouse, you are awarded the same gift of infidelity. The person for whom you left your family leaves you for another green pasture and you are left high and dry. You break your head at your stupidity and rue how callous you have been. You feel guilty to have lost the peaceful family you enjoyed.

What should you do when you are guilty?

  1. Do not brood as nothing will come out of it. When you keep thinking about it you feel that you are not a worthy person.
  2. Try not to repeat the mistake ever again.
  3. If you had hurt someone unintentionally, you can apologize and take away the guilt from you. Apologizing can lighten your mind as you feel you have made amendment for your mistake.
  4. Reverse your character from the bad to the good and when you repeatedly do good things, the old guilt you felt will gradually disappear.
  5. Talk to someone about your guilt and follow the advice given.
  6. Make your mind positive as a positive mind does not think bad of others.
  7. Ask forgiveness to god.
  8. Forgive yourself and be kind to yourself.

‘An evil conscience is often quiet, but never secure.’ –Syrus

Guilt is an agonizing emotion which makes you hate yourself. You often feel you could have prevented something from happening and you are guilt ridden that you had been a helpless spectator. There is nothing you can do about it and you cannot take responsibility for the mistakes of others.

Everything in this world can be rectified and it is the same with your guilt also. You have to overcome it as otherwise it might kill your peace. Forgive yourself and begin a new life. Life can be made new when you learn from your mistakes and also when there is a positive reversal in your attitude.

© 2013 mathira


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