About Guilt

        Guilt is the primal emotion most kids and adults experience when they believe they've "done something wrong" - i.e. broken some-one's rule - a should (not), must (not), cannot, or have to. Young kids begin absorbing these rules without discrimination from their family adults, hero/ines, older kids, teachers, and the media. Kids raised by wounded adults often evolve over-harsh, restrictive, unrealistic, or con-fusing rules that cause frequent, excessive guilts. Their personalities usually include one or more guilty subselves.

      Kids raised by healthy caregivers learn to question others' rules ("Is it always wrong to interrupt other people?"), and to trust their own judgment in forming behavioral rules.

      Moderate guilt is a healthy regulator of personal behavior. Exces-sive guilts can cripple individuals, relationships, and families. Most survivors of low-nurturance childhoods are burdened with excessive guilts and other psychological wounds.

     When your true Self is guiding you, you can learn to (a) distinguish guilt ("I broke a rule") from shame ("I'm no good"), (b) identify what rule you feel you've broken, and (c) decide if it's your rule or someone else's. If the latter, decide what your rule is, and then see if you feel guilty. See Lesson 1.                                                  more detail