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Quotes for the Remorseful

Open Discussions about Remorse Issues.

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Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby sprock » Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:04 pm

I thought it might be a nice idea to have a sticky thread where we can post useful, supporting or inspiring quotes for those of us who struggle with overwhelming or paralyzing daily guilt and remorse.

The quotes in my post all come from my personal quote book which I sometimes carry around with me as a source of support. I haven't been doing so well over the last week or two so it has been a small life-line. I felt it would be far better to share the quotes which I think are broadly applicable, rather than just keep them to myself! :) Some might be of help or comfort. Hope so!

"Without mercy, man is like a beast. Even if you are hard on yourself, be merciful to others. Men are created equal. Everyone is entitled to their happiness." (Sanshō Dayū, Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)

"'But I've done some other, unforgivable thing!'
'There's 6,000,000,000 of us... Google it. Somebody else has done exactly what you've done and they're currently on a book tour. You're never alone!'" (Maria Bamford, 'You're Never Alone', 'Janet Varney's AV Club Podcast')

"It is entirely up to us whether our time is always ending or always beginning." (Bruce Kawin, Telling It Again and Again, p.33)

"You don't need another human being to make your life complete, but let's be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn't see them as disasters in your soul but cracks to put their love into is the most calming thing in the world." (Emery Allen)

"Empathy towards the perpetrator doesn't entail that one has even for a moment forgotten the victim, simply that one is committed to doing justice to psychological reality. The roots of awful behaviour ... lie in terror and anxiety. Faced with the antics of our species, one should be moved more to profound pity than to indignation, more to sorrow than to fury." (The Philosopher's Mail, 'On Forgiveness')

"If you try to examine 'the other' without valuation or hierarchy, you find that like everything else, it is boundless, incomprehensible, impossible to define, and you." (John Campbell, 06 February, 2014)

"Your goal is not to be loved by everyone, your goal is to pay a debt, to make amends, and to become a better human being." (Hugo Schwyzer ~ of all people!!)

"For we each deserve everything, every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of dead kings, and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger. Have we not eaten while another starved? Will you punish us for that? Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate? No man earns punishment, no man earns reward. Free your mind of the idea of deserving, the idea of earning, and you will begin to be able to think." (Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed, p.159)

"People are just people. People are just people like you." (Regina Spektor, 'The Ghost of Corporate Future')

"How could you say you were fearless about leaving the party when it's like a party, even in stir - even franks and rice taste good when you're hungry, even an iron bar feels good to touch, it feels good to sleep." (John Cheever, Falconer, p.214)

"Fewer people deserve death than people who need to redeem themselves by confronting the issues that have deeply impacted their lives... You're not a monster. You're human. And if we can recognise our errors and take care of the people we've hurt, we can earn our place in society." (Doone Woodtac, message to me, 29 July 2014)

"You are attempting to deny someone's intrinsic humanity and justifying it by claiming that their humanity doesn't exist because they've committed a crime you despise... It's called 'dehumanization' and it's an attempt to justify your own opinion by characterizing someone you dislike as 'inhuman'. It's an old tactic... and it's a tool of despotism, not liberty." (Mo Reno, comments section of online article on capital punishment)

"Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew, 6:27)

"This gentleness and compassion exists within every one of us and is our birthright as human beings." ('Seoul Shambhala Meditation Group home page)

"The world is full of infinitesimal potential for small acts of kindness, the sprouting of small shoots of beauty from the fertile soils of desolation, the gentle revolution taking place in our hearts that is working its way out into the world as we grasp the interconnectedness of our existence." (Christopher Wood, November 30, 2011)

"Tenuous at first is the hope that we will receive understanding in response to our awkward efforts to communicate. Courage grows though as we experience the concern of others touching us where we feel the pain most deeply... It is through strength and grace than we are enabled to achieve trust and spiritual intimacy." (Kathy Tweet, Quaker Faith and Practice, 2:80, 1993)

"With the cessation of craving there is the cessation of clinging. The way leading to the cessation of clinging is just this noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration." ('Discourse on Right View', The Sammaditthi Sutta)

"Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account brood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean." (Aldous Huxley, forward to Brave New World)

"How can a person be guilty anyway? We're all human beings here, one like the other." (Franz Kafka, The Trial, 'In The Cathedral')

"We must forgive ourselves within, not based on someone else's forgiveness." (Doug Kelley, 'Get Rid of Guilt and Shame!')

"There is a solidarity of all men in error and aberration. Must that solidarity operate for the tribunal and be denied the accused? ... Compassion, of course, can in this instance be but awareness of a common suffering and not a frivolous indulgence paying no attention to the sufferings and rights of the victim. Compassion does not exclude punishment, but it suspends the final condemnation. Compassion loathes the definitive, irreparable measure that does an injustice to mankind... because of failing to take into account the wretchedness of the common condition." (Albert Camus, 'Reflections on the Guillotine', p.166)

"But I have my life, I'm living it. It's twisted, exhausting, uncertain, and full of guilt, but nonetheless there's something there." (Banana Yoshimoto, The Lake, p.,182)

"Even though I'm no better than a beast, don't I have the right to live?" (Oldboy, Park Chan-Wook, 2003)

"It takes a lot for someone to be well educated and strong enough to say maybe what they did was wrong and to know no matter what it is not the victim's fault." (message to me)

"Regret is great and understandable; shame is unhelpful and counterproductive." (message to me)

"Learning to live with what you've done and other people's reaction to what you've done is a perpetrator's own messy work." (Maia, 'On Change and Accountability', Feministe)

"bell hooks: 'I feel I'm always trying to address the question of not dividing people intro oppressors and oppressed, but trying to see the potential in all of us to occupy those two poles, and knowing that we have to believe in the capacity of someone else to change towards that which is enhancing of our collective well-being. Or we just condemn people to stay in place.'
'Maya Angelou: Exactly. And how dare we? How dare we?'" ('There's No Place to Go But Up', Maya Angelou in conversation with bell hooks)

"And call nothing human, inhuman: this man in the papers who cut up his wife... How could his actions, being those of a human being, be called inhuman? They are encompassed by humanity... He did no harm to you, did he, nor to me? What unthinking people mean by calling him 'inhuman' is really that he offended against the best in humanity... But he's still a human being, in the same condition as you are.' (B.S. Johnson, Albert Angelo, p.57)

"Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape." (William S. Burroughs)

"How have you atoned? How have you made amends when possible and granted your victims freedom from being reminded of how you trespassed against them? How have you supported other victims...? Shame is an appropriate response to doing wrong. That is normal, and healthy, and a good sign that someone is not beyond rehabilitation." (Mallory Ortberg, 'On Deciding What Counts')

"Let your guilt be your fuel. Let it remind you of who you want to be. Draw a line in your mind. Never cross it again. You have a soul. It's damaged but it's there." (Sabaa Tahir, An Ember in the Ashes)

"When we are born we are magical and loving and full of wonder. But darkness and ignorance surround us at every corner. Until the day someone calls us a monster and we believe them." (Philip Ridley, In the Eyes of Mr. Fury, p.unknown)

"I invite any sort of myths because I like the stooges and doppelgangers and doubles out there. I feel protected behind all these things. Let them blossom!" (Werner Herzog, Herzog on Herzog, p.190)

"It might have been finer never to have abused or objectified others, but it is something to acknowledge it when we have done so: and it may even be the beginning of radical change". (Richard Holloway, Between the Monster and the Saint, p.164)

"You can be loved. We can heal from this. Don't give up. This helps." ('Going Forward', forgetme@riseup.net)

Epiphany's Truths for the Remorseful

1.) Accept that you will never forgive yourself
2.) Remorse is selfish
3.) Lose the story, meet the feeling
4.) You are not your thoughts
5.) You are not your past
6.) Others don't know you are remorseful
7.) Let go of pride
8.) Let yourself feel bad
9.) The universe has no morals, just actions and consequences


Please feel free to add your own! :D

-Much warmth in quiet comradeship,
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Re: Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby souvlakispacestation » Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:57 am

ha ha it is pretty weird to think that there is a "comradeship" here. though i suppose you're right, there really is - common experiences, even horrible shameful ones, make for a great unifier.

love some of the sentiments here!
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Re: Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby hopeforall » Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:22 am

that was lovely thankyou for sharing!
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Re: Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby House » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:23 am

Thanks for sharing this.I especially liked the quote by William S. Burroughs.
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Re: Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby TheBrit » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:37 am

Seriously, thanks so much for this! :D I especially like the quote about the death penalty
"An it harm none, do what ye will."
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Re: Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby Ixion » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:02 pm

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one. - Marcus Aurelius

This quote always motivates me when I'm in the darkest places.
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Re: Quotes for the Remorseful

Postby NeverHadAChance » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:38 pm

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory. - Steven Wright

I'm becoming convinced almost anyone "could have" messed up if their circumstances were different, but now they don't remember or even acknowledge how vulnerable they actually were. It doesn't absolve me but it makes me feel more human.
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