How I'm Breaking Up With Guilt • Lila

I certainly suffer from "The Disease to Please," and man does it deal out a hefty dose of guilt. I've lived my past 24 years of life with the philosophy: I'd rather suffer than disappoint another. This cycle never ends and it's been my main intention this year to UNBLOCK that fear of mine and learn to live pleasing myself, free of guilt for following my heart and intuition.

For example, I'd say yes to babysitting Friday night because I know the parents really need someone...and miss out on a fun dinner out with friends. I'm afraid of feeling the guilt I imagine will come along with saying "no" to babysitting, therefore I'm "stuck" saying yes. Yet, of course, the entire night while babysitting I feel overwhelmed with guilt for missing out on dinner, again. Lose, lose. This cycle has my head and my heart in so many different places, none of which are bringing me joy or allowing me to feel grounded in any of my decisions.

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Here are 2 lessons I'm slowly beginning to understand

as I dive deeper into why I feel such intense guilt...

 

1. EVERY CHOICE MUST COME FROM A SOUND INTENTION • I heard this first from Oprah only a few weeks ago on GOOP's podcast and it has stuck with me ever since. I'm realizing that I feel guilty when my decisions are based on the intention of pleasing others and placing my needs and desires aside. If I were to have said yes to babysitting from the intention of making some extra money to boost my savings, and because I knew I would see my friends only a few days later - this sound intention would produce no basis for guilt! Yet, instead, I said yes to babysitting because I was worried I would disappoint the family if I said no. I was trying to please them, even though I had wanted to spend the evening with friends. The intention here was to please someone else despite my own desires. This brings guilt! Recognizing this pattern has allowed me to take a deep breath and consider the root intention of each one of my decisions. In turn, I feel much more confident with each one of my yes' and no's.

2. I DO NOT CARRY THE WEIGHT OF THE WORD • I only choose to see it that way. I've always wanted to be the one to make others happy, to receive the "thanks for saving the day!" I find a lot of validation in this - something that I'm currently working to UNBLOCK - so I'm often afraid of saying No, and often feel heavy guilt from being "unable to help out" or "unable to receive the gratitude." But, what I'm beginning to recognize is that I am not the one responsible for other's happiness. Life goes on, the family has other sitters they can ask, etc. I'm only responsible for my own happiness. I can feel gratitude for putting myself first and making decisions that promote my own joy.

 

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a few other ways I'm breaking up with Guilt:

 

1. JOURNALING • My journal is my heal-all cure. When I'm feeling overwhelmed with stress from guilt, I stream of conscious it all out. I ask myself why I'm feeling this way; what's the worst that could happen if I say No (or yes); is this something I'll still be thinking about in a week, a month?

2. GIVE MYSELF MORE SELF LOVE • Sometimes you just need to give yourself a big hug, a warm bath, a sweet massage. Love yourself a little extra.

3. SET CLEAR GOALS • When I have clear goals to work towards - whether for the year, the month, the week - then I can check if each decision I make (yes or no) is aligned with my goals. If it is, then it's coming from a sound intention.

4. SURROUNDING MYSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME • I know that if I choose a job or opportunity over an evening with friends who truly love and support me, they will be understanding and happy for whatever I am working towards. In turn, they will also be great advisors to ensure my decisions are aligned with a solid intention and goal.

5. TAKING DEEP BREATHS • A moment of meditation and a few deep breaths can bring clarity to confliction and a sense of grounding to indecision.

 

What are you breaking up with this month? Share with me in the comments below!



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LILA SEELEY • ASSISTANT EDITOR

A California creative with a passion for travel, art, frothy lattes and extra cinnamon.


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