Guilt can feel like a plague, especially for those of us who've learned to take on more responsibility for others' well-being than we can (or should) be responsible for. Like other human experiences we can have, guilt contains both light and shadow, and both are worth exploring. Because, while excessive and unhelpful guilt can keep us imprisoned by the expectations of others, helpful guilt can be a sign post for us, showing us where our speech and behavior is out of alignment with what our hearts most want. Until we can disentangle the experience of guilt from the unhelpful form it can take, however, we'll struggle to make use of helpful guilt as a powerful guide.
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