Letting Go of Guilt

Letting Go of Guilt
She held her guilt tightly in front of her, as if it were a treasure chest.
It was heavy, but not in a way that required physical strength. It was in a way that made her soul ache. It weighed her spirit down.
I told her that I forgave her for all of her mistakes – for being reckless and irresponsible. For being detached and putting up walls, layer upon layer of walls.
For pushing people away in fear of getting too close. For not always making good choices. For missing out on so much because she was not fully present.
I let her know that I understood the reason she had worked so hard to numb herself, despite how horrible she felt doing so. It was the only way she had known how to cope.
It was the familiar cycle that she had learned in her youth, that she had not yet, at that point, understood how to break.
I reminded her that once she had learned the truth, things changed for her. She began questioning everything she thought she knew about life, the human race, the world she lived in, the universe, happiness, relationships, and death.
Life had taken on an entirely new meaning, and she was forever changed. She had what she needed. She had it all along, and a wave of peace had washed over her.

Yet still she felt uneasy at times. There was something nagging at her, even after all these years. When she began to examine what it was, she realized there was a deep sadness caused by the guilt she had been carrying from long ago.

I told her it was okay to put down the box containing her guilt. She knew, with her logical mind, that it was. Yet something made her cling to it even more tightly at the mere suggestion of letting go.

She had been holding it for so long, she didn’t know how to let it go now. It had been so familiar to her, like an old toxic friend.

I said to her, “It’s okay, you don’t need it anymore. It does not serve you. It never did. It was a lie to begin with.

She began to weep. I walked with her to the edge of the grassy cliff where we overlooked a steep canyon carved out by a winding river. I reassured her again that it was time.

She held her arms out over the edge and let go of the box. It was a steep cliff, hundreds of feet down. She cried even more as she released what had been plaguing her for what felt like one hundred years.

As the box silently fell, it opened up, and a kaleidoscope of butterflies flew out into the sky.

I told her that I loved her so much. More than anything, and that she deserved to be happy. She knew in her heart that this was true.

 “I forgive you.” I whispered once more, as I sat in solitude, knowing that now I was free.

-By Katie B

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