Life is a wonderful journey and you will discover that there are many travel agencies in your life
as you travel this journey.  Now, I refer to travel agencies as anyone who throws a "trip" at you.

The most debilitating mode of travel along life's journey is the Guilt Express:  that freight train
that goes from the pit of your stomach to your throat, pounding your spirit deeper and deeper
into the dust.

So, who is your travel agent? Your parents, your spouse, a friend? Maybe your greatest guilt
trip is being provided free of charge by ~ YOU.  Well, a travel agent can provide the Guilt
ticket, but only YOU can decide if you're going to ride that train.

Guilt is probably one of the most damaging aspects of grief, made especially damaging when
you do it to yourself.  Sometimes we fill our minds so full of "I shouda, coulda, woulda's" or the
"what if I hada's" that we lose track of the wonderful things we DID.

Nothing that you did wrong (or even THINK you did wrong), and nothing you believe you
should have done differently, will ever bring your loved one back. There is nothing within our
power that we can do to rewind time and play it forward differently. Of course, in our minds we
know that, but in our hearts we yearn that it could be like that.  But it just doesn't happen that
way. You already know this.

Remember the wonderful words of this prayer?

                   "Lord, give me the strength to accept the things I cannot change,
                                    the courage to change the things I can,
                                    and the wisdom to know the difference."

This prayer is your passport out of that place called Guilt. You already know what you cannot
change. Only God can give you the strength to accept it.

Instead of killing yourself with Guilt, love yourself with the knowledge of the RIGHT things you
did. The words you said at the right time. Even the words you said at the wrong time. Only God
knows how a heart was touched by your words. So trust that each one was spoken at the right
time, for the right reason. The touch you gave at the right moment. The smile you gave when
one was so needed. The times you sat and didn't say anything at all, but only listened. God
knows how each of these impacted your loved one. We may never know, least not while our
feet are planted on this planet, the true impact of the things we did or did not do.

The most important thing you ever did was
LOVE.  I know you loved, because your Grief
wouldn't exist without it.  Whether or not your love was expressed verbally, you still loved.  
That outweighs anything you ever "shoulda, coulda, woulda" done.  Don't let Guilt rob you of
that!

Guilt will not make you one ounce better because of it.  It will entice you into its grip and if left
to its own devices, it will seek to destroy every ounce of happiness you may have left in this
life.  It will not change what's happened or what you believe has happened, but it WILL change
what is to happen in the rest of YOUR life ~ and make it much worse.

No relationship, no joy, and no other aspect of your life will be the same with two tons of Guilt
piled on top of it.  If you have truly done something you feel is deserving of Guilt, then pardon
yourself.  Ask God for forgiveness, ask yourself for forgiveness, then move on. It's forgiven.
Finished. Over. History. Leave it there, in the past, where it belongs.

There are many bright days ahead for you. God has promised that your Joy will come again!  
Don't let those bright days be darkened by Guilt of your own making.  Lean on the Lord and all
of His promises. (There are over 5,000 of them in the Bible.) Let Him lead you to your Joy, as
you leave Guilt in the dust of your past.

May God truly bless you and bring you Peace.
The Guilt Express
© Ferna Lary Mills


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