Tag Archives: guilt

The guilt prison.

I’ve been lamenting this topic for awhile now – both personally and experiencing it around me, at the studio, on social media, amongst friends.

The guilt prison.

The self-imposed guilt *we* put on ourselves – whether it be to get in that workout, run faster, longer, more, push through a cold, jam in a zillion errands into an hour because you’re racing the clock to your next meeting, commitment, plans etc. or any ‘imaginary’ self-imposed deadline you put against yourself – because it’s usually either a) unrealistic, or does not *need* a set timeframe or deadline to complete. We just put that on ourselves as a deadline, which then in turns to unnecessary pressure, unnecessary stress and ultimately? The guilt prison.

Because we didn’t meet that imaginary deadline or goal or number we were trying to reach.

So we guilt ourselves, we turn to negative self talk, we beat ourselves up, or even worse, still try to find a way to meet this ‘deadline’ or (usually unrealistic or unnecessary goal), even if our heart, mind, or body isn’t really into it, but our minds take over and tell ourselves we need to do such-and-such or we are a failure.

I realize I am speaking in the proverbial ‘we’ when I am of course talking about myself, BUT I am also talking about seeing this in action just about everywhere I look, lately.

The negativity, the pressure, the anxiety – and all of it? Completely and absurdly unnecessary. Completely arbitrary. Completely self-imposed ‘deadlines.’

For what?

What do we accomplish by guilting ourselves into doing things vs. doing them out of intention and because we truly WANT to?

Absolutely nothing. 

The guilt prison is entirely draining and self-fulfilling, really, too. And partially because whatever we’ve set our minds to, is sometimes too much, or motivated by the wrong reasons, so it will naturally fail, as a result.

5e854ace1c41ff3afe31ff66716e6d77For me, it goes back to intention – my word for 2014 – and doing things out of want, not because I ‘need’ to or because I feel a need to keep up with a certain routine, but literally because I want to. This could be social plans, plans with family, a b9 class, a run,  or even food. Eat out of intention. Do out of intention. Work (out) with intention.

Strip away the guilt. Get back to basics. Let’s break free from this guilt prison. I know for one, I am entirely exhausted of it, from my own tendencies too, and my natural inclination to do more, more, more, when sometimes less and simpler is truly best. I am ready to shed this inclination fully and finally, and I hope if you struggle with this, you will work towards a guilt-FREE life, along with me.

Stealing my own joy.

Lately, I’ve struggled with the little things. The nitpicks. The stuff I can’t control. The stuff I wish I could control. The things that are simply out of my control.  And the stuff that I just need to find a way to separate myself from emotionally.

Do you ever find yourself in that boat? Letting things affect you and your mood that are either simply out of your control or, more bluntly, none of your business, in a sense, yet they still nag and nag and nag at you until poof,  joy is stolen. By you.

I’ve realized I’ve stolen my own joy lately for no other reason than letting the little things get to me.

In my ongoing journey of living ‘perfectly imperfect’ – this is one area that I just must fix. It seems to rear its ugly head when life is just chugging along, all good. Life is good, work is good, b9 is good, runs/workouts are good…it’s alllll good. And it’s like I subconsciously semi self-sabotage myself to find something to bother me. But why? What’s the sense in that?

Maybe it goes back to that feeling I’ve always had, deep down. That guilt over reaching a triumphant point in my life, a life that I built from scratch less than 5 years ago, getting through divorce, and all the financial, emotional, and yes, even physical struggles that come with it, to finding the true love of my life less than two years after my divorce, and marrying him two years later. The guilt over being happy when there are so many around me that are not, that are struggling to find their path, their love of their lives, their ‘calling’ if you will.

I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I’ve earned this. I’ve worked for this. And yes, I deserve it too. I need to shed the guilt. And also shed the habit of finding things to be unhappy about. Finding them. Why? What is the sense in that? Honestly. Sometimes I shake my head at myself and want to slap myself.

I’ve been digging deeper, reading a lot of scripture, daily devotionals (especially the one I cherish from this beautiful soul!) and vent sessions with my sisters and with M. About my incessant need to let things bug me that honestly really should not. And it’s really helping. Sometimes I just need to process the root cause of things…the why behind the joy stealing.

And in writing this all out, it’s giving me the accountability I need to cut the shit. Get over the little stuff.  And when I saw this on instagram, it all came together. No more joy stealing. Leave it alone. Instead, focus on what makes me smile. And my friends, that is what I shall do.

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Hitting the fast forward button on life…

…was what I wanted to do so badly in October 2008 as my life was coming to an end (or so I thought) as it careened towards divorce.

But this past week (and this weekend, especially, as I sat across the table from my sister and brother in law, with M at my side, laughing, enjoying, and just breathing it all in. That perfect evening…), I’ve realized that the ‘fast forward’ button I so desperately wanted to hit then to make my life happy again is here. It’s my life as we speak…the here and now. I’ve achieved that life I envisioned and wanted so much then, now.

And to feel that way, to have achieved all that I’ve been working for these past few years, to rebuild the me I lost, and gain the confidence and happiness I so wanted (and heal the pain), while finding a job that makes me happy and a man that fits me like a glove?

I am downright speechless. And more appreciative than words can even describe.

Yet, at the same time, I feel guilty for it.

When I read some of my bloggy friends going through despair and sadness (you know who you are), struggling with dating, or finding the right balance or finding love and happiness again. I feel that guilt rising in me again. I feel the tug in my heart. The want to fix it and the guilt that I am not in that place anymore.

But why?

I deserve it too. I have worked hard for it. I have struggled to find it, too. Yet I feel the need to justify that sometimes, for no other reason than to show how much I do care, and want for others what I have achieved. The fast forward button of sorts.

I know my story is far from over. There will be struggles. There will be battles. There will be challenges. Galore. But at this moment, I feel like I can take them on better than I ever could before. It’s a sense of empowerment that I wish could be bottled up and sold, because that feeling is something I wish for everyone. Because we can all achieve it, I firmly believe that. Sometimes you gotta reach into the depths, into the tips of your toes and the farthest reaches of your mind. But you can do it. Believe that.

You don’t need a fast forward button (even if we all dream of one at times. Clearly I did too. And clearly fast forward didn’t really work, per se, as it still took almost three years). It’s faith, perserverence, strength and resolve.

The here and now feels like no other. And it just feels right.