Daddy would have turned 90 today. In those months before he was called Home, we had some amazing talks. I cherish those chats during the last few months of his life and I still draw wisdom and comfort from those times.
It seems to me that guilt and its companion of unforgiveness of self that holds us back from fully immersing ourselves in our lives and wholeheartedly and unabashedly sharing our gifts with the world. I’d like to share with you a few thoughts Dad had on guilt.
Whenever I visited, it was a treat for us to get take-out. Dad and I were driving to get the food and I was talking about something from the past that was bothering me; I was feeling guilty about what I hadn’t done.
I said, “I wish I had known then what I know now. If I had known—“
Dad interrupted. “That’s right, that’s it. Had you known, you would have chosen to do something much different. But you didn’t know. Even so, you did the best that you could with the information you had at the time.”
He went on to point out that I always try to be helpful and to do good so there was nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. He advised me to let go of the guilt and to look forward, not backward.
I pass this information along to you because I know that you, too, are a good person. You put forth your best effort; you try to be helpful; you contribute your part of the goodness in the world. So, there’s no need to chastise yourself for being less than perfect. In each moment you are as perfect as you can be. Be at peace with that.
Let go of the guilt and of the past and move forward.
Thanks, Dad. Happy Birthday!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,