It's true though. I do say "I'm sorry" for a lot of things... and I mean it when I say it. I am sorry. And I do feel guilty for these things. So... what kind of things are we talking about?
When I interrupt someone's work
When I text someone too late at night
When I have an emotional meltdown
When I burn supper
When someone else burns supper because I was talking to that person
For causing the abuse I've been through
For causing the abuse my siblings suffered
For what I did to deserve being raped
For not being there for my brothers - a lack of action that caused them to commit suicide
... and the list goes on and on and on.
I actually read an article not too long ago which links this kind of guilt and shame to depression (though, they're not sure which causes which). But regardless of there being a link between the two, when I'm not as depressed, I recognize that many of these things I feel guilty about are not my fault (ok, texting someone at midnight is, but that's usually because I'm in a depression or having a meltdown). And I know it's stupid to feel guilt over things which were completely out of my control. And yet, I do.
Two Kinds of Guilt
I read an article earlier about how there are two kinds of guilt - the kind that we need to ask God to forgive (the stupid actions and things we do which are indeed our fault); and the kind that is actually Satan trying to set up a stronghold (or something to that affect). This second kind is Satan telling us it is our fault when it isn't; or telling us to keep holding on to the guilt of a sin we've already been forgiven for.
While most of what I read, I don't fully agree with (dang theology differences), that explanation of the two different kinds of guilt does make some sense. Whether the second one is actually Satan, or just our (my) own human stupidity, I don't know. But regardless, it is destructive. It pulls us from God. It makes us believe (and react to such belief) that we're not worthy of God's love and forgiveness.
We're Forgiven - Let it Go! (insert Let it Go soundtrack from Frozen here)
When I do something something (i.e. sinful), I do ask for forgiveness, and generally believe I am indeed forgiven. But it's these other things - the abuses of those close to me and to myself, the deaths of some loved ones - that I truly have a hard time believing I'm forgiven. Perhaps this is because I haven't forgiven myself. Perhaps a friend of mine was right in calling me narcissistic. Perhaps I do think that I'm better than others - or should be better than others - and therefore am unworthy of forgiveness. Perhaps I am self-centered and egotistical.
We're Supposed to Forgive Ourselves
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.. (Colossians 3:13)An interesting tidbit on this verse - the Greek word which has been translated to "each other" in this verse can also mean himself, herself, ourselves, yourselves (and more). So basically, "bearing with one another, and forgiving each other and yourself... just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you."
I actually just learned this today. I mean, I know in theory we're supposed to forgives ourselves... and I have always known that it is biblical that we should forgive others always. I just didn't realize forgiving myself is also biblical.
So, with this new piece of knowledge (which, of course, i could be completely wrong about... but it does seem to make sense), I shall now end this post and go do some meditating/thinking/praying.