By Joel Matthews
I alone, as judge and jury, have pronounced the verdict of “guilt(y)” upon myself. After all, who would know better than me of my own failures? I can pick those crimes out where no one else would even think to look. I am so good at both committing the offenses as well as convincing the jury of the guilty verdict in the mirror. I can even predict the crimes in advance. Behold!
As we are in the midst of various holiday celebrations, I will exercise no self-discipline. Engage in many indulgences. I will rail on society’s commercialism even as I reach with a large ladle to scoop up an abundant helping of spoiling my youngest relatives. Yep, as premeditated as you can get. Knowing even as I do it, I will be caught, tried and convicted by that man in the mirror waiting back at my home. I will beg forgiveness and have a list of penitent resolutions for the coming New Year, which I know I will not keep up. Setting myself up for becoming the repeat offender. No hope for absolution. Guilty, guilty, guilty.
What to do with all this guilt I am carrying. Feels really heavy at times. I try dropping it in a dumpster only to find it chained to my leg. I ask others if they would share in my guilt. No such luck. Most of them have larger sacks than mine and I didn’t want any of theirs either. So as I sit there, on a park bench, in despair, wondering what to do with my big bag of guilt, I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn – and see no one. A little spooky.
Then I hear a voice, “I will take it, but you have to ask.” I look around. No one. I realize the voice is inside my own mind. “Who are you” I ask. “I am you, the real you. I am soul.” “My Soul?” I say out loud, then quickly look about to see if anyone heard me. “Yes, I will remove your guilt, but only if you freely give it to me.” “Here” I said, holding up the sack. Nothing happened. I listened. “Freely, from your heart.” “My heart? But I am holding this huge sack chained to my leg.” “That is how you see it. But where do you feel it?”
I pause; my soul is right. I feel the guilt in my heart. I have failed myself and others. Those who believe in me and those who look up to me. “That is not true.” The voice states. “Others have not given you guilt; it is your own creation. You made it for yourself without any help from any other. That is why you must give it up, freely, from your heart.” I am sitting quietly, thinking about the guilt, feeling it in my heart.
I close my eyes, center my thoughts on the guilt I feel and whisper. “I give up all this guilt to my soul.” Again, a little louder. “I give up all this guilt to my soul.” Again, even louder, “I give up all this guilt to my soul.” I start to cry. Yet even as the tears roll down my cheeks, I feel better. “Thank you” my soul says. “What did you do with it” I ask. “Since it was yours, it could go nowhere else, I transmuted it, to the peace and harmony you now feel.”
Wow, it is true, I do feel peaceful, much more at ease. “Will this work on all types of guilt or just the holiday kind?” “All kinds, though some are heavier than others to lift and take several heartfelt requests to reach the deep old roots they have.” Wow. “Thank you.” “I am always here. Just ask. Tell all you know, that they also may ask their souls.” “I will.” I am. Think, quietly focused, and feel deeply in your heart and say it three times. “I give up all this guilt to my soul.” Then tell me how you feel.