Make your guilt a positive force
Written by: Seada Karalic
I want to remind you that you are human. You’re expected to make mistakes, and those mistakes might generate feelings of guilt, which can actually invite connection to your Creator.
Guilt is incredibly powerful. If exercised incorrectly, it promotes cognitive distortions of irrational beliefs, self-hate, and, potentially, isolation. However, many of us forget that guilt is a natural emotion stemming from some kind of violation of our moral code of conduct.
Sometimes, people feel inclined to voice harshly the sins of others, hoping the sinner will refrain from going back to sin. Similarly, religious preachers may fall into sin by judging someone else’s shortcomings and constantly reminding them of their wrongdoings, thus creating more tension and the possibility of the one who originally sinned furthering themselves from God.
However, if guilt is exercised correctly, then it gives us the strength and ability to redirect our attention to a positive and promising life, without indulging in self-destructive thoughts and behaviors. If I have committed a grave sin, one that weighs heavily on my emotions, it will influence my behavior. But by giving myself the benefit of the doubt, and by remembering that God is most merciful, I am more likely to submit my emotions into the care of the One who created me. I am also less likely to mock the sins of someone else because I am conscious of my own wrongdoings.
Guilt and sincerity are cousins. Repentance is always possible and is always accepted if one feels guilty. Despite the sin you’ve committed and the depths of your own guilt, let not your ego make you believe that you’re a terrible human being and you deserve heavy amounts of torment. Such a belief contradicts the reminder:
“When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way” — The Holy Qur’an, 2:186
Reframe your ideology of guilt to lessen the demon dialogues in your mind.