From Avoiding to Facing Guilt

From Avoiding to Facing Guilt


When under fault, somehow we all end up admitting our guilt with the next word of, “BUT…”.

Avoidance is a very normal skill we are born to have, thanks to our fight-or-flight response mechanism. When we do not want to face what we have done wrong, we simply flee from the scene hoping to avoid some of the pain/heaviness. “Things we cannot see are fine” (Chinese idiom). As long as we do not directly witness the badness, it doesn’t seem that bad. Then we somehow are slightly lightened. Or are we?

Guilt is a moral conscience which distinguishes between right/wrong, and thus reminding us that we are not ok with what we have done wrong. It is a feeling which does not go away easily. When we do not turn ourselves towards the right moral or own standards, then we are even further trapped by the guilty conflicts. What is worse to come are the escalating severity of negative emotions escalate to the stronger and sabotaging shame, self-loathing and depression. Even we remove our faults by amendment, it does not necessarily indicate the same instant removal of guilt. The feeling still remains over time and there is no reassurance when it can finally disappear.

Call it luck or coincidence – sometimes when we avoid the guilt, we seem to “succeed” in doing so. Afterall things do fade away across time. Yet I believe that most can never be resolved if not handled, because, in the end what we are hiding from is not guilt, but the actual problem itself. And so we are under constant fear and anxiety that anything would happen anytime. What is funny is the more we try to avoid, the more daunted we are by own anxiety and fear, and in the end we are more prone to mistakes, and we feel even worse and frustrated.

The truth is, we are aware of the bigger worse to come if we choose to avoid our guilt “alarm”, yet our current fear still outweighs the latter bigger horrid, and we simply procrastinate.

I cannot deny the fact that facing our guilt is no easier pathway than avoiding it, yet what is different is that it frees us from the feelings of impotence, insecurity and defence.

With determination, we settle ourselves with the price of hard work, dedication to facing the situation with integrity and responsibility. Whether what we do brings us successful outcomes or not, we intend to allow our motivation to keep pushing us on the commitment to the continuous work of self.

And this certainly takes substantial energy from ourselves. We can be encouraged in many ways from the others, like the closed people, or simply a good reading, or it can be a painful experience which acts as the wake up call. However, nothing is better than the inner courage coming from ourselves. It is the inner power you have from the self – the belief in self, the will to betterment, the self-care to your inner spirit… they help you you turn such courage in heart into the positive determination.

Don’t be restrained by guilt, because it is not the ultimate challenge we are facing. It is the deep rooted actual problem that we have been avoiding from. Something inside us is telling us it’s wrong, and let us be real to ourselves and do face it.

Certainly the act of facing is a painful, effortful process and not 100% success guaranteed, yet it is the only way for us to the solution, that is, we are being free from the guilt.

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