I was at a friend's house, admiring a craft book she had received as a gift. She said something which sounded like a foreign language to me. "I feel really guilty every time I see it, I asked for it for my birthday,and someone spent money on it, and I haven't made anything from it."
Perhaps you recognise this feeling? Guilt used to be one of the most pervasive emotions in my life. I felt guilty about everything. But in particular my entire existence and its impact on everyone.
Yes, I had a very strong case of the guilties. Symptoms of which include: apologising for everything all the time, low lying anger and resentment, feeling shit, self flagellation...But I realised in that moment, with exception of my deeply embedded maternal guilt, that guilt does not live here any more.
It was a truly liberating realisation. I had a think about what had changed. And it came to me.
Guilt is a sense of your own unworthiness. It is a blocking, rejecting act. The antidote to guilt is gratitude. It is pretty much impossible to feel guilt if one is grateful for something.
Gratitude is an opening of your hands and heart towards what has been bestowed on you.Gratitude, as I wrote in Wild Sister magazine, is a relatively new practice for me, and it's working magic!
So next time you feel guilty. Take a step back. See yourself shrunken and small and feeling its lack. Then find something to feel grateful for in that situation. And watch the greatest disappearing act of all time: POOF! Your guilt has gone!