Let go of guilt

A reminder, after the sad news of Sue Townsend’s death, that Adrian Mole was therapeutic to so many of us.

The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole by Sue TownsendMy mother is now in the hospital 60 miles away, where they are treating her pneumonia. I refuse to feel guilty. Guilt is a destructive emotion and doesn’t fit in with my Life Plan.’

Sue Townsend. The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999-2001

‘The client should understand that life runs in real time; it works by addition, not subtraction. Guilt regarding past failures has no necessary relationship to present commitments. The surest way to undo a commitment is to functionally link it with something that is dead, gone, and can’t be changed. Guilt is always connected to “I’m bad” and thus weakens the client’s ability to move ahead.’

Steven C. Hayes, Kirk D. Strosahl and Kelly G. Wilson. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavior Change