guilt - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
He stepped over the kid sleeping on the sidewalk and into the scented mall. The same thoughts rose to defend is actions. “You can't save every kid. It's their parents job to house them. They should just go home. You worked hard for your money. It's not your problem.” But still it bothered him, the ambient festive music, Christmas in August, was not enough to erase the stain of guilt. He turned back, hand already in his pocket for a five dollar bill, but as he got to the doors the kid was being lead away by security. The doors whooshed open in their mechanical perfection allowing in another group of shoppers, their faces relaxed as they discussed a new terrible song on iTunes. They weren't burdened with guilt, nothing shook them from their bubbles. They were all set to spend some money. The guard had done his job well.
He knew he'd done something pretty awful when he had to work so hard to justify it. The more demanding the reparations his subconscious required the worse he knew it was. But no-one was going to feed his kid if he sat back and lost ground to his competitors, no-one was stepping up to pay her dental care or emergency room visits when she woke up unable to breathe. So he cut his competition down any which way he could, fast and dirty. Last night he drove right past an accident scene because he was late to a new client, he had a full first-aid kit right in the trunk and knew full well how to use it. Now it was all over the news, not that he drove by, no-one knew that, but a kid had died. She was just shy of her eighth birthday, same age as his Samantha. Now it squeezed at his brain, obliterating the thinking he needed to wheel-and-deal. He had to either get tougher or start listening to his conscious, this middle ground guilt was no good to anyone.
The guilt sat not on her chest but inside her brain. What she had done she could not un-do. She could make amends in subtle ways, but confession was out of the question, even to her priest. Only in her silent prayers could she speak her heart to God and beg for His mercy. She didn't feel like she deserved the love of Jesus Christ but she clung to it and hung the shreds of her sanity on it. She prayed that one day she would feel removed from her sin, washed clean of it, but the guilt was a stain on her, an ugly scar. She had to believe in redemption and rebirth, she had to leave her deeds in past and move on.
But Arthur stiffened himself militarily and cleared his throat. All four started to compose themselves, like actors going on the stage, outside that library door. And then Arthur softly, almost wistfully, opened and held the door for the others to pass. The Colonel slunk meekly in, and sat in a chair in the background. The Major stalked in expressionless, and hovered towards the sofa where his wife sat.
I have the guilt from living with all that, accepting it for so long, for bumbling along like a God damn sheep. I have guilt from being white, something well earned by my forefathers. I have the guilt from being English, look at what we did in the name of empire and spreading religion. I know we weren’t the only people to do it in history, but nonetheless, we did it. But you know what? Guilt is my bitch and I suggest you make it yours too. Whatever makes you feel the most guilty I suggest you embrace it, don’t fear it. Let it drive you on to be better, to make the world fit for future generations and all of life on Earth. I don’t share my pains, but I own them, and they make me stronger.
Found in Are you awake yet? - first draft, authored by .
The guilt was like gasoline in my guts. My insides died slowly in the toxicity, needing no more than a spark to set it ablaze. The fire burnt me out so badly there was nothing left but a shell, an outline of a person. As I orientated to the world again He filled the void, bringing His perfect love to rebuild me anew.
The guilt is ice in my guts. It could be a hundred degrees out and I'd still be frozen on the inside. I can't melt it on my own, I can't shift it at all. I need Him to bring his warmth, to show me that I can be better, that I can still serve Him. I wanted to be perfect so much, even as a little kid, and it kills me that I wasn't. I wanted to follow His ways from my earliest memories and I still strayed. So though it's hard to move past my mistakes, I own them, hold them as my own, and accept that He still loves me regardless. I only hope that by the time I'm done I can feel like I earned it.
When the guilt comes it takes me down the old familiar path. I want to refuse to walk it, pretend that I am the person I demand that I be. I want to see myself in sepia tones, not perfect colour. I want to scrub my head, but if I did I'd never learn from what happened. And it's true what they say, “Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” And I couldn't bare that. So I keep my eyes on the horizon and my mind tuned to creating a positive future; because really, isn't that what everyone needs?
When the guilt comes again to haunt me I take in a breath. After all this time it still cuts just as deep, but its visits are less frequent and softer in duration. I remind myself that whilst I cannot undo my misdeeds, I dedicate my life to walking in the light. I tell myself that even though I can never forgive myself, that in God's eyes the slate is clean. I don't need to make amends anymore, but I have sworn to walk His path, to do what He needs me to do. If He can help others though me, then I am his willing conduit. The glory is not mine, but His.
OK, I’m back. There is one last thing before we leave the farm. You’ve known what I’m saying is true for a very long time - even if you are telling yourself you disagree and you’ve already labelled me with some derogatory term of your choice. I can show you that I’m right. This guilt over the mistreatment of other species has been with us so long that the evidence for it has become enshrined our language and practices. Did you know that a common reaction to guilt is to make the victim of the abuse actually seem to either deserve it or not be worthy of rescue, or both? We can see that at play in our language - “stupid cow,” “dirty pig,” “chicken.” When the name of a species is an insult we’ve got some heavy duty guilt going on there and that’s something we need to investigate as a matter of urgency. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at our no guilt relationships - we have “clever fox, clever cat, brave as a lion, loyal as a dog, free as a bird…” The same happens when we have guilt toward our own kind but I’ll let you think about those for yourself. Does that happen in personal relationships? Do we label one another? Do we cover our own failings with an amplification of someone else’s faults? How many derogatory words do we have for women? Is being “such a girl” a compliment or an insult? If it’s an insult then it’s roots lie in a guilt reaction to justify mistreatment. I can tell you from lived experience that girls are awesome. This guilt reaction is also a key factor in racism btw, and bullying, thought you might like to know.
Found in Are you awake yet? - first draft, authored by .
One second passed.Two seconds passed.Three seconds passed. Guilt was eating and pestering me. A fire burned in my mind and throat. Remorse hit me like a sledgehammer. I could feel daggers aiming at me from within the crowd.The prize was gleaming gold and was waiting for its rightful owner.One step. Two steps. Three steps. The principal was walking towards me, a smile plastered on her face. Ba dum. Ba dum. Ba dum. My heartbeat seemed to echo in the hall. The principal congratulated me but I did not hear a single word. Instead, I was staring into the eyes of the girl,who was staring daggers at me. It was not too late. Not too late to be honest. Not too late to tell the truth...