Updated: Sep 13, 2022
I used to feel guilty about everything… and I mean everything, and most of the time unnecessarily. Feeling that way so often was having an impact on my mental and emotional health and I needed to make a change.
Playing with Guilt
My friend, Guilt would swing by all the time… Being late for work one morning, not being able to answer the phone to my mum when I was in a work meeting, not being able to meet friends because I already had plans, not reading enough, reading too much when I have other things I need to do, watching too much TV, not exercising enough, not cleaning the house. It was ever-present in my life!
Understanding where Guilt comes from and where it lives
I had to take a look at myself to understand where this emotion was coming from. And, it takes me back to my childhood and my “people-pleasing” upbringing… How others see me and my ingrained conditional structures of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘worth’, ‘value’ and ‘conditional love’. We often associate our own value and worth based on what we do for others instead of clearly communicating what we can offer within our boundaries.
Guilt accumulates over years and lives in our subconscious. It comes from past childhood experiences, where we’ve built up a repository of subconscious conditions that we bring to life daily through years of meeting the expectations of society, family and others. Guilt is put on us as children for not doing as expected, for speaking, for not speaking, for being ‘bad’, for being free and unconditioned. And after years of exposure to that conditioning, we end up in adulthood believing and carrying the conditions of others.
Choosing to play without Guilt by learning your needs
When I realised this, I started listening to what I needed and started saying “Yes” to myself instead of others and let me tell you - it’s been life-changing! What I know now is that my needs change all the time so, I need to pay attention to my Self.
One day, I may be mentally exhausted and need quiet time to rejuvenate and on another, I may be physically exhausted and need to choose not to workout. And, when I’m feeling restless, I know I need to do something intellectually stimulating.
Learning my Self allows me to understand what I need, and in turn I learn about what I can and cannot give to others, without feeling guilty about it.
I realise that the more I observe conscious awareness and actively choose my Self, the quicker I let go of the feeling of Guilt and align with my true authentic Self. What kinds of things do you feel guilty about?
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