Thursday, 12 January 2012

How To Use Guilt

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by Moss, Rabbi (See all authors)

Guilt is to the soul what pain is to the body. Pain itself is not a good thing, but it does serve a positive purpose. Pain alerts you to a problem that requires action, it calls you to seek its source and alleviate it.

Guilt serves a positive purpose too. Guilt that eats away at us is pointless. But guilt can be used as a catalyst for becoming a better person, when it alerts us to acknowledge mistakes we have made, take responsibility for them and not blame others - even if others were partially to blame - and then resolve to be better for the experience. We must turn around the negative feelings, so they can propel us to do more good.

Guilt creates a void in our soul. Fill that void with something meaningful. Redirect your energy towards a new venture that will benefit someone in need. That way you don't just alleviate the guilt, you actually transform it into a force for good.

You can't bring back the potential that was lost. But you can reclaim your own potential. Don't let guilt paralyze you any longer. Ask G-d to forgive you. Then turn your guilt around, and use it as a springboard for positive action. Make what was a negative chapter in your life into the introduction to the next chapter; making the world a better place, starting from you.

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