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What is Guilt ? What is Remorse? What is the difference?


For those who are doing the 52-Week challenge this is week 1. If you do not have the book you can either purchase the workbook or down load the book from Amazon. Feel free to follow along through this blog. As I go through this first week remember that each and everyone of us will have a different answer. There are no right or wrong answers. I am going to give you my understanding of what I've found to ring true to me. I encourage you to leave comments and share. This is what I learned.


So what is guilt? First, this is what the dictionary says. There are two ways to think of guilt.

1 : responsibility for having done something wrong and especially something against the law.

2 : a feeling of shame or regret as a result of bad conduct.


What is remorse?

Remorse is a distressing emotion experienced by a person who regrets actions which they deem to be shameful, hurtful, or wrong.


So what is the difference ? The biggest take away for me is that guilt is acknowledging the harmful action, and remorse is regretting the action. From what I have been able to find, guilt tends to be intentionally causing harm and it can lead to destructive behavior. In my eyes if we have remorse we are sorry for causing pain and we regret our actions.


I have felt guilt and I have felt shame. This learning experience or research resonated with me because when I started to feel guilt; I knew it was time to make a change. Yes, I had done things intentionally. No, I never meant to hurt anyone, but I had. I was only doing what I thought I had to, at that time.


I realized that I knew I was wrong when I felt remorse. I knew that I did not want to feel this way anymore and I realized that I was causing others to hurt. I needed to find a way to change my behavior.


I have had several discussions about the difference between guilt and remorse. Coming to the conclusion that everyone has their own understanding of what these words mean, allowed for hours of conversation and provided me with a lot to think about.


I challenge you to answer these questions!

Try to ask yourself how these words make you feel. How do they connect to you ? When have you felt guilt and why were you feeling guilty? Were you sorry for your actions? When have you felt remorse? What were you doing at the time? Did you internally cause harm to others ? Do you want to make a change and if so why?


I hope that during the course of this week you will be able to make a connection to the words and what they mean to you. I thank you all for being part of my journey and allowing me to be part of yours.

Have a blessed day.



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