I've been coming to realize recently that the overwhleming anxieties I have had about horrible things that could happen at any moment are partly a function of a creative mind that has a misdirected focus. Also, something Linda brought up in a group a while back- Guilt and shame are two different things.
Shame and anxiety (or creativity gone awry) seem to me to be the culprits that can make our lives miserable while guilt is a state of fact. Did I do it or didn't I? Am I responsible for this turn of events or aren't I? I guess this is where the "self" comes in-where our creativity gone awry can make us believe that we are responsible for events that are out of our control or believe that we must atone for what we have done in some extravagant manner (like thinking about it for years and years).
As for reaching enlightenment- I wish I knew what Buddhism says about how to say you're sorry? Is it just that "everything is the way it is meant to be" including your mistakes?
P.S. This being my first time participating in this kind of thing-I just got a good belly laugh from the option to "use emotion icons in my message." I wonder what the guilt icon would look like? Or the enlightenment icon? Is enlightenment an emotion?-I'll leave that for another string