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Words with some Weight

Remorse, Guilt and Shame

I am sorry for what I did and not for who I am.

Don't confuse shame and guilt with remorse. Shame is about who you are. (I am
a bad person.) Remorse is about what you did. (I behaved in a bad way.)
Shame turns the attention away from the wronged person back to you, so
it's really about you and how you feel.

I think guilt is really still about you – I feel bad that I did that.
It’s a good start—but it’s not remorse. Remorse turns the energy towards
the person you want to re-connect with again. It’s an I feel your pain rather than I feel my pain about causing you pain.
Remorse is one of those old-fashioned words that smacks of Puritanism and sin, a

kind of we-are-all-bad-people-underneath kind of thinking. But if we
can peel back the punitive feeling attached to these words, there is a
beauty to them.

I am remorseful. I am filled with remorse. It’s a word with weight that

matches the deed you now regret. It feels right for that moment when you
feel someone else’s pain as your own. It allows for redemption—another
one of those weighted words—and healing.

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