So Friday I had to work. I was in a great mood, having just come from watching the Thunderbirds rehearse for the weekend airshow. During the course of my shift, I noticed that I was noticing a few attractive women, more so than usual. There are a couple of explanations I've come up with for this...
1) There were more cute women than usual coming into the restaurant that night.
2) I had sub-consciously given myself permission to actually look at cute women coming into the restaurant.
3) I was actually looking for attractive women, and therefore seeing them.
4) A combination of all of the above.
5) Another explanation that I haven't considered.
Unfortunately, noticing my thoughts and feelings about the above mentioned situation also triggered my guilt and shame. I personally didn't really want to be feeling ashamed or guilty for noticing these women and being aware of my feelings, however superficial they might have been.
I talked to a friend about it and she seemed to think that it was actually progress for me. She told me that it was normal for me, and good for me to be in that space, of actually paying attention to my emotions.
What I know about guilt and shame is this: the emotion of shame is generally felt in regard to characteristics about yourself, while the emotion of guilt fires about your actions or behaviors. Shame is justified when you will be rejected from a group you care about if characteristics of yourself or your behavior are made public. Guilt is justified when your own behavior violates your own values or moral code.
So my question is this: are guilt and shame justified or unjustified in this situation?
I haven't been able to determine an answer, so I'm asking for your opinions. What do you think?