Guilt. When everything else is quiet, it’s the disquietness within you saying, “I wish I had never done that.” “I wish I could go back and do that differently.”
Older men may have guilt for failing to be present and intentional in their children’s lives when they were small. Women sometimes have it over their role in early pregnancies. Teammates have guilt for missing the winning catch or shot.
There’s no undo button in life, but we wish that our feelings of guilt could go away forever. And we need a better solution than just not talking about it, avoiding people and places that remind us of the guilt, suppressing our guilty feelings somehow, or busying ourselves to the point that we have no time to think guilt-ridden thoughts.
If we could remove the status of guilt—the objective part of being guilty, then we would go a long way in addressing the feelings—the subjective part—of being guilty. If we only address our feelings of guilt, the status of guilt still remains.