Shedding guilt

This article originally appeared in The Christian Science Monitor with the title “Shredding guilt.”

When I foundered in the grip of guilt over an unkind retort I had hurled in a moment of frustration, I tried to lessen my anguish by justifying the comment in some way. But attempts at self-justification did nothing to placate the anguish that was robbing me of my peace of mind.

The acute mental pain made me feel like a hypocrite. Every good deed I had ever done, every kind word I had ever spoken seemed a mockery. I was convinced that no apology could erase the damage my thoughtless words had inflicted, and indeed my apology, as heartfelt as it was, did little to assuage my conscience.

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