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Kathryn, I completely understand what you’re saying, agree whole heartedly, and commend you for recognizing the destructiveness of guilt. Blame, shame, condemnation, guilt, intimidation, manipulation and all those negative intangibles we’ve all been brought up to own, cultivate and utilize on ourselves and others is the reason why most people begin peddling backwards early in life. Ever notice how small children are at peace with the world around them until their thinking gets sullied by the negativity projected onto them by their elders? Until I became a born again Christian, I had no real understanding of how those things control our actions and reactions. Some would say that it’s important to feel shame for our bad behavior. I disagree. I think it’s important to have a conscience about the things we’ve done, and conviction to change the negative to a positive. Beating up on ourselves is counterproductive and can  cause us to freeze up, lose motivation and become depressed. You are correct that regret and guilt are not the same thing. We all have our regrets, but it serves no good purpose to allow regret to boil into guilt. At some point in healing, we must forgive ourselves or else we forever be the devil’s whipping post.
Keep on keepin’ on…and keep the pledge.– 7/2/2009 4:23:55 PM: post edited by compulsiveme.