Let's talk about guilt, baby

I want to share with you a quick story about guilt. I've been really focused on letting go of guilt ever since I read this incredible, life-changing quote earlier this summer:

"Guilt is the denial of our inner intrinsic innocence."

-David R. Hawkins, from Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender (get this book immediately if you have not read it. Go now. It's on Audible, go on now.)

That quote stopped me in my tracks. It made me realize how often I'm really hard on myself for things that I did purely by accident.  It made me think about the compassion I feel for my four year old daughter when she is upset at herself--because she's just a kid, and she just made a mistake.

It made me think about giving some of that compassion back to myself.  And since I started doing that more and more, forgiving myself daily for my perceived transgressions, letting go of the guilt and choosing to remember my innocence instead...I have quite literally felt lighter.

Anyway, back to the story. Earlier this week, I was on the phone with a close friend who has been struggling with a running injury. She was registered to run a relay race over the weekend, and she had done everything she could think of to heal in time for it--trips to the doctor, extra rest, new shoes, you name it. She REALLY didn't want to miss the race, because she was feeling so guilty about disappointing the other three people on her team.

4 months ago, I would have completely empathized with her feelings. But instead, strangely enough, I started laughing! I asked her, "Did you injure your foot on purpose?" She replied, "No, of course not!" I said, "True or false: Do you want to run that race this weekend?" And she said, "Of course I do!"  

So I said, "That's why I'm laughing!"

Here's the thing. By feeling guilty, or in other words, *subconsciously* denying her innocence in this situation, it's like my friend was telling herself "I made this happen on purpose." Which is hilarious! Of COURSE she didn't do that. She really wanted to be at the race; she loves running, and walking around in a boot is not exactly what I call fun.

But that's guilt--it's sneaky. Guilt is our ego's way of reinforcing that we are straight-up bad, that we don't deserve our success, that it's all our fault, etc., etc., etc.  

How about trying this on instead:

Everything you ever did that you judge as "bad," you did because you didn't know any better then.

Every time you ever said something that hurt someone, you probably said because you were trying to protect yourself.

Every time you disappointed someone, you did your.very.best. and maybe it still couldn't be enough.

You are innocent. You are innocent.  You are innocent.

All my love.