by Raghav Agarwal
Guilt is a very powerful emotion. It is destructive, all-consuming, and emasculating. Guilt is sometimes humbling, mostly needed; but as they say, excess of anything is bad. Having a conscience and feeling responsible for your actions is a good thing, but getting consumed by your guilt is bad. How can a Heart that is full of pain have place for Love? And what is Life without the joy of Love?
It is only human to make mistakes. Everyone does things whose memory becomes a source of regret later on. It is natural. Some mistakes are graver than others and end up sprouting more amount of guilt. But while it is important to realize your mistakes, it is also important to prevent yourself from drowning in your guilt. Because if you drown in your guilt, there is no resurfacing, there is no respite, and there is no life. Feeling guilty for what has been done by you is okay, but crying about it your whole life and not doing anything to lessen the implications of your actions is unacceptable. But that is what most people do! They cry, lock themselves up, curse themselves, keep waiting to be punished, and feel it justified to remain in a permanent state of despair. What they don’t realize is that acting that way is not going to get them anything, and being sad is not going to redeem them.
The only path to redemption is spreading more Love and Happiness than that which you took away. It might not always be possible to undo what you’ve done or make life better for the affected people, but it is always possible to direct your guilt into doing something better than just moping. What is the point of bearing the heavy weight of a guilty Heart? A Heart weighed down by guilt neither lives and nor does it let live; it is eternally tortured. When it is not possible to change what has been done, is it not better to accept it as inevitable, introspect, and use the guilt as an excuse to do something good? Think of it as a sacrifice someone had to endure in order to let change occur in many other people’s lives.
We think and think, and keep on thinking, until we’ve over-thought and made matters worse. But we fail to act. Feeling guilty is after all not going to make things better: it is only going to swell up your heart with pain and make life unbearable to live. There are so many things one can do instead of crying about the unfairness of life. It takes little to spread happiness and change lives: feed the poor, help those in need, apologize, smile. Vanquish your heart’s darkness and let the happy light of service shine. Let go. Make amends for your actions, and move ahead in life. Guilt is for cowards. The brave know how to conquer their grief and take responsibility.