How to we become so guilty and where does guilt originate? I grew up Catholic and it has often been believed in my circle that Catholics experience more guilt than other religions. In Christianity it is often thought that just thinking about a sexual act is as bad as doing it. So does guilt come from our religious background. It appears that many people believe that Jewish people have a monopoly on guilt. Is there something in the Jewish teachings that predispose people to experience more guilt. It seems that there is no substantial research that supports that guilt is generated by Catholic or Jewish religious teachings. I must say however, that for myself I truly believe that I have felt guilt because of what I learned as a Catholic. This was primarily related to sexuality. As I mentioned in a different blog, guilt may be either be constructive or destructive. One question I have had recently, is related to why some people experience very little guilt and other people become weighed down by this burden. For sure, guilt is generated by our own thoughts. Like many emotional experiences it is what we think that generates the emotion. So why do so many of create thought patterns that generate guilt. Guilt can arise from a variety of sources. It can arise from something we have done wrong, something we didn't, and there is even existential guilt which we feel when we haven't developed our potential in some way. Although we all cross boundaries and do things wrong, and we all have felt bad about things we didn't do, what makes one feel more guilt than another? One recent study reported that Catholic participants demonstrated a higher level of constructive guilt. I really question the study that Catholics don't feel more guilt than some other religions, however, I don't know all that much about other religions. Maybe they are all teaching guilt equally. Who knows? A worthwhile question, however, is what causes guilt to be constructive or destructive? I have a good friend that believes that all guilt is destructive. We disagree, but it may only be about semantics. For me, healthy guilt, is t when we notice we do something wrong, and we repair it if we can. If we can't we don't continue the self-deprecating mantra. It is the repetitive mantra that intensifies guilt and can leave us debilitated. We an always ask the question, what can I do to feel less guilty?
How Do We Become So Guilty
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