“We are our choices.”  – Jean-Paul Sartre

One night my 9-year-old son who had just gone to bed, asked me if I would lay with him as he was scared. I was getting ready for a busy day and was tired and said “No, you are fine, go to sleep.”  When he died the following afternoon after being hit by a car, I remembered what he asked me, and the guilt that followed me from that day on, was overwhelming.

“Guilt is a destructive and ultimately pointless emotion” ― Lynn Crilly

Guilt is an emotion that we are all familiar with, that we have all lived with at some time. What we forget is that we do not need to carry this burden around in our life and that guilt as powerful and destroying as it is, serves no purpose.

Guilt beats us up, it makes us replay our mistakes, it wastes enormous amounts of energy re-enacting how we could have done something differently. It makes us feel bad if we don’t feel bad!

“No longer be the victim of your circumstances, let go, forgive and move on.”

One of the reasons it is so hard to give up and let go of our guilt is because we feel we need to be punished and believe we deserve to feel this way.  Once we realise we do not need to carry this, we can learn to forgive ourselves and lift the heaviness from our life.  Once you let go of it, you will find the confidence to move forward.

Here is one way you can work through letting go of your guilt no matter how hard it seems.

Find a quiet still place and take some deep breaths. Make sure you feel calm and still.
 Call in the person or people you feel you have let down or have carried guilt for.
See them in front of you.   Ask them for forgiveness.
See them forgiving you.
Now say “I forgive myself and let go of any guilt I am holding, I no longer need to punish or burden myself with this guilt.”
See this guilt lifting from your body and mind.
Take some deep breaths and finish.

You may need to do this a couple of times in your meditation to feel completely free. Don’t allow guilt to have any power in your life and don’t let it stop you from experiencing the fullness of life and the precious time we have with each other.