Book Review – Guilt Is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson
Guilt Is the Teacher, Love is the Lesson
by Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.
Healthy guilt lets us know when we’ve violated our principles, formulates our conscience, and teaches us how we can do better in the future. However, when healthy guilt gets twisted into shame, it becomes toxic to the mind, body, soul and spirit. The author calls shame or unhealthy guilt as an “autoimmune disease.” With it, we reject our worth and very being.
This book is a valuable asset for anyone who is carrying around the burden of shame or unhealthy guilt. It begins by explaining the difference between healthy and unhealthy guilt, and details some of the characteristics of shame. Once a person recognizes the difference, they can do something about it.
The author explores the inner child’s role in a person’s life, and how the joy of the inner child has become suppressed through shame. Using questions, exercises and meditations, the reader learns to free their inner child from the bonds of shame. Ms. Borysenko also addresses the subject of forgiveness, stating that we forgive the person but not the offense.
This is a book of self-discovery and personal growth, that clarified for me how toxic shame can be. As we learn to love ourselves, letting go of the punishment that shame brings us, then we are able to move forward in our spiritual evolution.