Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wishcasting Wednesday

What do you wish to let go?

Such a great question! We are always wishing for things. How wonderful to focus on ridding ourselves of something useless. Thank you Jamie.

I could list quite a number of things here that I would benefit from letting go: expectations, self criticism, doubt, worry. But, for me, they all really boil down to one thing - guilt. A horrible, horrible concept that has plagued me since grade school, or perhaps even before. And I am fairly certain that it will be my constant companion until my final day in this body. I am aware that I carry too much guilt, ridiculously so, but I've also resigned myself to the fact that it's just a part of who I am. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to drastically change it. I am just one of those people who wants (needs?) to make everybody happy all the time. And when I don't . . .

For example, when I speak my mind and tell someone how I really feel about something, knowing that I have every right to do so and, in fact, owe it to myself to do so, and what I've said is not well received, I feel guilty. If I call in sick to work - with a migraine or a cold, for instance - I feel guilty. I could go to work with a headache or a cold after all. If I fall behind in replying to e-mails, or neglect to answer the telephone when I really don't feel like talking, I feel guilty.

A couple of months ago, I ran across the following quote by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche from Tricycle Magazine.

Regret, Not Guilt

The difference between guilt and regret is that the guilt never faces the wrongdoing straightforwardly. There's just this strong emotion of "I wish it hadn't happened. I wish I hadn't done it. I wish I had never gotten angry." Or, "I wish I hadn't done that embarrassing thing," and so on. Regret is the opposite of guilt. We acknowledge it, we expose to ourselves that we have done something harmful, and how it came about from our ignorance, but we don't get caught in emotions or story lines.

While I don't completely follow that logic, I do appreciate the delineation between guilt and regret. And I need to remind myself of it more often.

So, I wish to let go of that toxin - guilt.

Hoping all your wishes come true! Here's to letting go.


  1. As Janet wishes for herself, so I also wish for her. I really really enjoyed that clarification between guilt and regret.

  2. Here's to being guilt free!

    As Janet wishes for herself, so I wish also.

  3. As Janet wishes for herself, so I wish also!
    I understand..I struggled with that for a long time! I did the quilting bee on regret this week. Thanks for poppin by on!! Namaste, Sarah


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