Off the Guilty Path


(Part Two from my post The Guilty Way)

Imagine that as you journey along, a destination, a place you would like to be, flashes like a picture into your mind. You can see it. You can see it so clearly… You have this strong sense deep down of what this place is like. You naturally have this urge of wanting to be there, wanting to reach it, this desire coming from the uniqueness of you.  You picture this place and feel the desire to be there all in one flash, one spontaneous moment. This is an aim of your heart.

You contemplate moving towards your destination but suddenly you also have this doubt… this strong palpable doubt that what you have pictured is really, well, okay. Is really… good enough. You’ve heard other people describe their picture and suddenly yours seems a little dull. Maybe the vision cast in your mind is faulty. You start to feel anxiety and a sad kind of disappointment all at the same time (you really liked your own picture… in that flash of a moment it was really yours, it was a worthy destination…) Or, you start to doubt if you can make real what you see in your head, if you can actually go from here to there. You’ve never bridged that gap before, never spanned the distance. Maybe you should ask everyone else around you how to get there because they definitely would know better than you do. Oh, YIKES- everyone has a different suggestion! Everyone has a different experience to offer you with different advice! You try to take steps towards your picture but you get pulled this way, that way, updside-down, downside up. Maybe without you even asking, the Guilt Guards  say, “But your aim isn’t the right one!! It’s not valiant, virtuous, perfect enough!!” They slam their spears into the ground and block your way.

Voices all cry out at once and the more you listen to them the more they cloud your picture, that picture that at one time was so clear and desirable, just a moment away. Eventually you decide that the mine field between you and your destination is just far too treacherous. The Guilty Way has befuddled your desire to live out what is on the true inside of you (this analogy could relate to many other things besides guilt, but it’s all in the same pot).

Feels like something died.

As I continue to work through my recovery, the difference between that scenario and the next all hinges on the work I’m doing at the foundations of what I know to be true about who I am. Living from these new foundations, my interactions with life (big and small) are growing more and more infused with freedom…

Re-imagine your picture… And this time there’s a clear path straight to it. In sorting through the lies and the truth, you have this growing sense within you, this sense that knows “I have what it takes to live my life. I have that good heart. I can trust it!” You still know you’re not perfect but you accept that as part of the journey and not as a means to discount yourself. So, you see your picture and nothing holds you back anymore. You don’t need to give in to the Guilt Guards to protect you because you now know that the freedom beyond your current borders is a place you can thrive in, and a place you are worthy to thrive in! The Guilt Guards and the Guilty Way just disappear. You bridge the gap and make it to your destination. You feel… alive.  You have manifested what was inside of you, outside. You didn’t deaden yourself with pretensions and conventions.  You acted out of your own unique spontaneity and were relieved from being pulled in all the directions of the other voices and extra-terrestrial rules. You make it to your picture and breathe in the satisfaction of being there… You did it. And you do it again, and again and again, striding forward towards the aims of your true, good heart. You are free to fly, free to learn, free to grow. This transcends the Guilty Way. This is the Freedom Way!

Big encouragement to everyone as we continue on in our journeys.


Categories : Freedom & Wholeness


Cindy Leigh Wilson
March 16th, 2010 at 3:42 am

Dear Carla,
I decided to reread some of the posts this morning…I find it amazing how I can glean even more insight the second or third time reading something like this. What struck me so clearly this morning was something I missed when first reading Part 2 of “The Guilty Way”.

What you are describing as the “Freedom Way” is living in God’s grace. The “Guilt Guards” are the naysayers of spiritual legalism.
I am sure the many women that read this blog come from different walks of faith, so I don’t mean to pigeon hole your writing for everyone. I do however, want to share with you how I am digesting your words and how powerful I believe them to be. I believe a lot of my parent’s actions were filtered through religious legalism. In my opinion this makes my recovery from their way of raising me harder to overcome. Harder because of how my spiritual world became tangled up in the slightly crippling way I was raised.

No wonder I love talking about God’s grace so much! No wonder some of my siblings get a bit irritated at my passion for it! Things are really starting to make more sense to me.

Thanks so much…I think my fog has lifted a bit more this morning and I am beginning to see my destination…in the distance.

So grateful,
Cindy Leigh


Cindy, I really like how you put that… “The Guilt Guards are the naysayers of spiritual legalism.” That was so true for me. I understand what you’re saying too, about having a double layer of confusion to work through- not only would you be challenging your parents, you would be challenging God himself (in the context of spiritual legalism!) That can be really scary.

I have been so grateful for certain people along my journey who lived in real freedom from that, while still knowing God in a very real and spiritual sense. One of my college teachers was a person like that and I remember one day thinking, “Well, if God is like her, if God is like THAT, but to the infinite degree, then that’s who I want to know!” I found a lot of healing in using my imagination to think beyond the box I had been given. Anyways, I guess I have lots to say about that! But thanks so much for your comments Cindy- they enriched my post. I look forward to hearing more of your perspectives!

Love Carla


Carla, for me your previous post enlighten me to the “guilters” which I believe are even more prevalent today. Maybe I was just so buried! Still your words of encouragement that one knows one’s self, is much needed as I come out of crisis. Thank-you


Thanks again Fai. Your comment has drawn me to read this post again! Your journey of pursuing your freedom and healing is inspiring mine as well and I sincerely thank you for that. Again, I wish you very well. ~Carla

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