Allowing Guilt To Serve You

At work today, a pang of guilt just came out from nowhere and took me by surprise. My question was, “Why?” Why am I feeling this way now? Could there be a reason for all this?

My mind was flooded with painful memories of how my beloved goldfish, Patches and Peaches, had died. Though they were both ill, I have come to realise eventually that what killed them wasn’t entirely their sickness or disease.

It actually had a lot more to do with me and my own ignorance, unawareness, stubbornness and poor listening skills.

Patches was in a real bad shape, and I had gone down all the way to Singapore to see someone and also to hunt down some Parzi for my baby. I couldn’t wait to bring the meds home so he could get well.

Apparently, he was still eating before I got back. But on the night that I got home, I did a water change, introduced him to the meds and he stopped eating. I had not put two and two together at that time, that perhaps his refusal to eat was a sign that something really wasn’t right.

When I got up at 3 in the morning to check on him again, I saw peaches in her tank, huddled at a corner, looking down below into the blue tub where Patches was quarantined. The moment she saw me, she whipped her tail and swam in the opposite direction–a sign that she’s upset…

And I soon discovered why. There below was Patches, still looking like he’s sleeping, except that he was really gone this time… My heart broke.

I had really hoped that he would get well and live on forever…

I didn’t understand why he was gone the same night I got back.

So I repeated that mistake with Peaches, when she too fell sick.

Patches & Pebbles

Pebbles & Patches

Peaches, Pebbles & Patches

Peaches & Pebbles

It was only when I had spent endless hours and days and weeks and months grieving and agonizing over their death and wondering WHY over and over again when the reason became so clear to me one day.

Aunty Christine, the kind lady whom I had stayed with in Singapore had told me how her whole bucket of kois died after she gave them way too much medicine. “Only a few drops will do.”

But I, always thinking I know better, did what I felt was right.

I dropped two cap fulls of Parzi into Patches’s water. I do believe now that he died from an OD. And the same might be said for Peaches. I will never be 100% sure and there will always be a million and one other reasons that could’ve contributed to their early demise–but on my part, I am sure I was hugely responsible for their sudden departure, too.

And for that, I couldn’t forgive myself for a long time.

The guilt and sadness of knowing that you killed your own baby with your own bare hands–that’s a hard thing to live with. I loved them so much and wanted the best for them. But my ignorance didn’t help. I wasn’t paying attention to the details of their body language. I didn’t listen. And it cost two innocent goldfish their life.

So I felt so much fury at myself today, while at work.

I was kicking air under my table, partially wanting to give my own ass a kicking if that were possible.

But I was also largely aware that this must all be coming up for a reason?  Why now? Why am I suddenly feeling this way?

I thought I have been through this before and have decided to let myself off the hook when I came into awareness that the root of my sorrow and grief over my goldfish was my unforgiveness towards myself. So why are these negative feelings of guilt surfacing now, of all times?

Soon as I threw out the question why,

I began to see a clear parallel and lesson.

I loved my goldfish so much.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

I wanted the best for them.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

Out of my ignorance, unawareness, stubbornness and poor listening skills, I made things worst for my goldfish instead of the best I was hoping for them.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

I really, really, didn’t mean to hurt them.

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

But I messed it up–and repeated my mistake more than once!

So did The Loved Ones in my life.

The fact is, I really, really loved them.

And I’m sure The Loved Ones in my life really, really loved me too.

I didn’t mean for them to be in pain.

I’m sure The Loved Ones in my life didn’t mean for me to be in pain too.

This mental dialogue went on for a while until a point was made.

I began to understand that I had asked for this. I had prayed for a bigger capacity to love and forgive a specific loved one. I didn’t know how that might happen…

…till this.

*It was only when I got in touch with my own humanness, weaknesses and brokenness that I remembered I too have been guilty of the same.

*If silly me deserved forgiveness and grace, what more These Loved Ones in my life.

*I just need to put myself in their shoes… must not be easy being the one living with guilt.

*I also learnt once again, the importance of feeling our emotions, acknowledging it and letting it go.

Could your guilt or ‘negative’ feelings serve you today? 

There’s always a reason and lesson for everything. Ask Why…

…then be ready. The answers will come, in all shapes and forms.

Accept the truth–no matter how hurtful it may be to know the truth at first–because in the end, the truth really does sets you free.




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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Grief & Loss

“Loss is a place where self-knowledge & powerful transformation can happen–if we have the courage to participate fully in the process.

We all face many ‘deaths’ within our lives.The choice is whether these deaths will be terminal (crushing our spirit & life) or will open us up to new possibilities & depths of transformation.”– Peter Szazzero.


It’s been some time–more than a year for Pumpkin and Ponyo, and nearly a year, for Patches and Peaches. And yet, I can’t get over the fact that they’re gone now. I think about them often and miss them badly.

They’re my pet Goldfish by the way, the best of their kind–besides Pebbles.

I feel like I failed the four of them. I wish I could turn back time and do better. As always, all I’m left with is a sense of remorse and deep regret…

…There is nothing I could do to bring them back now. No second chances.

I’ve often responded with tears and sadness–nothing more, nothing less.

But in the quiet of my morning devotion, while nursing the aching I felt…

…I heard this gentle question again, “Can YOU forgive YOU?”

As I pondered that question… I realised that my answer is No.

I could’ve saved their lives. There were so many things I could’ve done and should’ve known. They were so full of life, so full of love, and brought so much happiness into my life. Look what I did to them… It’s all my fault!

I am not ready to forgive me yet… I don’t want me to forget.

…Then, I heard a gentle answer within, “You know you Loved them.”

“Think about all the times you spent trying to make them happy.

Think about that trip to Singapore just to get Patches medicine.

Don’t you see a girl who tried her best? Love her… forgive her.”


I really didn’t want to… but I know I owe it to myself to at least try.

By the end of that few minutes of trying, the tears stopped flowing.

…I’m not sure if  I’ve fully forgiven myself.

But the next time I miss them–before sending me packing on a guilt trip–I’ll remember a very important question, “Can YOU forgive YOU?”




“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB:

TLC ~ Love Of The Day

Think of this as your ‘Soup Of The Day’ special for your Heart, Mind and Spirit:

“Be the LOVE Letter You Seek to Read.” 

I love the Butterfish Sashimi in Ichiban Boshi, Pavi. You get the best cuts (so smooth it melts like butter in your mouth) and 5, big generous slices you won’t get anywhere else for RM10.

When I saw their new pricing of RM11.90, I was surprised. “Oh, we now serve 6 slices instead of 5,” the waitress explained. Okay. Fair enough.

When my order arrived however, the serving size shrank by HALF.

On top of that, the usually pure white Butterfish had a streak of red vein over one of the slice–gross? Using my wooden chopsticks to remove the bloody remnant, I was disappointed, ready to go elsewhere next time.

“Why don’t we speak to the manager?” one of my girls, Alex, suggested.

Let’s just say, the way the Head Chef responded, us 3 girls were smiling ear to ear, heart melted, with only one word left on our lips at the end:

“WOW.” 🙂

The shrunken size and messy cut was purely a mistake, by a new chef in training–the complimentary sashimi served afterwards was PERFECT.

Alex, who had years of experience in F&B, suggested again, “One of the ways you can thank them is by giving a good feedback to Ichiban’s management–in writing–someone might get a raise or a promotion,”

Brilliant idea!

We called the supervisor again and asked for the name of the Head Chef. The attending staffs watched us closely, buzzing with curious whispers.

On the way to the cashier, we didn’t see the drop-in box at the counter so I passed it directly to the smiling waiter standing right next to me.

“Man. He looks like he’s reading a loveletter!” I observed, as we watched  him scanning through my feedback, his grin getting wider by the second.

The head cashier, a little worried by his staff’s antic, beamed when we told him we enjoyed the excellent service. “Hope to see you girls again. Next time, I will personally serve you,” he says to my smiling crew. Haha.

We left the restaurant feeling like walking on clouds… and sunshine. 😉


When was the last time you experienced the Joy of reading a Love Letter?

Dear lovers, don’t wait for it! 🙂 Everyday is an opportunity to write one–for others and ourselves. From a heartfelt sorry to a thank you, a happy smile or a note of gratitude–the ways to Love and Be Loved is endless.

“Be the LOVE Letter You Seek to Read.” 


Love In Writing,



“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB:

TLC ~ Love Of The Day

Think of this as your ‘Soup Of The Day’ special for your Heart, Mind and Spirit:

“Can YOU forgive YOU?

Today, like every other day, I had felt the urge to call the X to say I’m sorry.

I never bother him of course. He’s accepted my apologies and extended his. The end.

So why do I get this annoying need to apologise, over and over again?

He is equally, if not even more, responsible for breaking us up.

Why should I say sorry again? Is it really his forgiveness I seek?

As I pondered this over, I brought my guilt before God for the millionth time in prayer, asking for forgiveness. In response, all I heard in my heart was a gentle answer in the form of an affirmation and a question:

“I’ve already forgiven you a long time ago… Can YOU forgive YOU?”

Wow… I was silenced… Good question…

And then it becomes so clear.

The reason why my inner voice has never stopped saying sorry, is because it begs to be heard, by me. It wants to be forgiven, by me.

Part of me knows I still blame me for the break up. That part of me wants to be released from that guilt and condemnation. It wants to be set free.

Who knew, at the end of the day, it all boils down to Me, Forgiving Me?

“Forgiveness if a GIFT… Can YOU forGIFT YOU?”

ps: I know I’ve shown this video before but it’s so awesome, here it is again! Watch the sheeeeer happiness of the Humpback whale after it’s been set free–that’s what Love & Forgiveness can do for you and I. 🙂

Love & Forgive,



“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

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