Let Go of Your Guilt

Many of us are overly self-critical, feel guilty. Do not feel guilty about your guilt -that only makes you feel more cold and rigid. But feeling overly self-critical is an unnecessary burden. Any positive view as a counter thought to being self-critical can spontaneously become an inspiration and a healing, in the very moment we begin to shift our attitude.

Let go of your guilt! Feel as if it weighs nothing at all, and allow it to drift away like a feather in the breeze. Here’s how:

Visualize your self-criticism or guilt as darkness, dark clouds, or mist. Imagine bright beams of light coming from your source of power, touching the guilt, warming it, making it feel insubstantial. (Your source of power is a tool that arouses energy and wisdom in you, and it can be anything from the image of spiritual divinity such as the Buddha, or any positive form, nature, essence, or force, such as a tree, or the moon.) The light fills your body, touching your heart and mind, dispelling all darkness. Without guilt, we can now feel joy, light, and warmth. Allow yourself to relax within any positive feelings that arise. Repeat this exercise again and again, and finally meditate in an open way.

Adapted from The Five Things We Cannot Change, by David Richo (Shambhala, 2005). Copyright (c) 2005 by David Richo. Reprinted by permission of Shambhala.
Adapted from The Five Things We Cannot Change, by David Richo (Shambhala, 2005).


J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

Could be useful

paul m.
paul m.4 years ago

Thank you.

Michele Wilkinson

I'm very self critical. Thank you for this.

Robert O.
Robert O.5 years ago

Great advice. Sometimes I am self-critical. Thanks.

Rosie Lopez
Rosie Lopez5 years ago

Great article TY

Rose N.
Past Member 6 years ago

This really helped me out. Thank you for posting.

Pirjo H.
Past Member 6 years ago


Annick Letourneau

I'm self-critical and I feel guilty often...
Thanks for the bautiful visualization, I will try it!

Jessica K.
Jessica K.6 years ago

I just wanted to add quickly (because I felt a little guilty about it :)) that I in no way was implying that abuse victims should feel guilty about being victims. I was just saying that if they don't set themselves free by forgiving themselves and others, the guilt may be even worse for them. I apologize in any way if I gave the implication that abuse victims have something to feel guilty about based on others' actions. They absolutely do not deserve abuse in any way, shape or form. But they do deserve to be free of this horrible prison in all ways, shapes and forms in the hearts and minds as well as their bodies.

Jessica K.
Jessica K.6 years ago

I think if you feel guilty, then there is something to it. If it is pervasive, though, it is probably not the thing at hand. Self-honesty in all areas, as well as a conscious choice to forgive ourselves (and others) for specific actions will take away burning guilt. That being said, actions do have consequences, and everyone does make mistakes. It's better to clean the slate for real than to automatically assume guilt has no place at all. Even it as serious or irrational as feeling guilty for being an abuse victim, let's say, people may not forgive themselves for placing themselves in that position, or they may harbor hatred which make them feel guilty. So guilt does have some place: it just shouldn't be driving the car.