Guilt is not fundamentally healthy, because it has the quality of condemning whatever happens and not seeing the inspiration or positive aspect in things. Often a guilty conscience comes from self-hatred, constantly condemning oneself. The only way to overcome guilt is by seeing that there is nobody to blame for the chaos or the difficulties in life. Chaotic situations are not punishment, but they are steppingstones. Then you can see the positive within the negative.
From "Family Karma", Chapter Eleven in Work, Sex, and Money: Real Life on the Path of Mindfulness, forthcoming in 2011 from Shambhala Publications. Edited by Carolyn Rose Gimian and Sherab Chodzin Kohn.