Guilt is for suckers.
Did you know that?
It’s something new I learnt over the weekend from my mate Carolyn. Carolyn is one half of an online magazine for women, Champagne Cartel. She’s honest, straight up and tells you how it is. I think she’s all kinds of awesome.
It was at the Style + Champagne event she co-hosted over the weekend that she enlightened us all with that pearler. Guilt is for suckers.
It felt like a light bulb moment for me, but after thinking it over for the rest of the weekend, I realised it wasn’t something new I’d learnt. I’ve known for a long time that holding onto feelings of guilt for absolutely no reason is bad for me. How can it be good?
I just can’t for the life of me stop feeling guilty about … everything. My friend suggests we blame our Catholic upbringings 🙂
At the event, Carolyn shared with us that 96% of women feel guilty about something every single day.
There’s no doubt I’m in this percentage, however it’s more than once a day that I feel guilty. Some days I can find myself tangled in a web of guilt. When I allow myself to spiral into that negative, anxiety-ridden, angsty place in my mind, I find it hard to claw my way out, to shake the guilt, and move on.
In any given day, I will feel guilty and worry – those two go hand in hand for me like hot chips and vinegar – countless times.
I will feel guilty about not spending enough time with the kids, not doing enough educational work with them, spending more time with Miss Five than Miss Three, not seeing friends, or not cooking a gourmet dinner every night.
We had Dave’s brother visit from New Zealand over the weekend and I was wracked with guilt for not cooking him dinner on the night he arrived. I’d had a jam-packed day. I was out from 7.45am until 5pm, not to mention I’d risen at 3.30am that day to do some writing. I was buggered and just didn’t feel like cooking. I had made the decision that I wasn’t going to cook dinner and that we’d get takeaway instead.
I should have felt confident in my decision. I’m not superwoman. I can’t do it all. Instead, I worried about it all day. I was riddled with guilt. He’d travelled to see us and I couldn’t even give him a home cooked meal. What a terrible host.
He didn’t care and I shouldn’t have either. I’d made the decision. I should have felt confident with it and not let myself feel guilty all day long.
Carolyn admitted she feels guilt occasionally and when she does it’s more like a niggling feeling of a pebble in her shoe. She said feeling guilty gives us a chance to revisit a decision we’ve made. If we’re comfortable with that decision then there is no room for guilt. You need to kick that A-hole guilt to the curb.
I was in awe. Who is this woman and how did she get to that stage in her life where she doesn’t feel guilt?
I spend my life saying sorry and you know what? It has got to stop. I need to cut that shit out. It’s exhausting and it’s not helping anyone.
Feeling guilty does absolutely nothing for me other than turn me into an unhappy stress bucket. I need to end this daily dance I do trying to find the balance between making myself and others happy.
So, I’m going to try Carolyn’s tactic. If I feel guilty during the day, instead of letting it consume me, I’m going to look at the issue worrying me. If I’m happy with the decision I’ve made then guilt can be told where to go. If I’m not happy about the decision I’ve made then I will revisit it and make it work to relieve me of any guilt hanging over my head.
Sound like a plan?
What’s your relationship with guilt like?
Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.