Guilt Can Crush Your Body, Mind and Soul


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I attended Catholic School from Kindergarten through the eighth grade and it wasn’t all that great. Needless to say, like most former Catholic School kids, I’m no longer a practicing Catholic. The amount of guilt put upon us was extraordinary. Of course, it didn’t wreak havoc on my life until I reached adulthood. I feel guilty if I eat my favorite foods. I feel guilty if I don’t wallow with family members who can’t take responsibility for their lives. I feel guilty for not wallowing with people who get invested in world events. I feel guilty for having more of a connection to my two cats than I do certain people. I feel guilty for wanting to look and feel good. I feel guilty if I don’t feel the pain’ of others. I feel guilty for wanting a better life than my parents and grandparents. I feel guilty for wanting to live a footloose and fancy free lifestyle that’s suits me but others may frown upon. I feel guilty for being on a spiritual path that may not resonate with others, especially family members. I feel guilty for not wanting to get involved in the lives of family members. My philosophy is, “It’s your life do what you want.” I feel guilty for not wanting to spend time with certain people because their energy and constant complaining grates my nerves. I feel guilty for not wanting to live in the Midwest near my family. I feel guilty for wanting to be surrounded by people who I relate to — people who are kindred spirits (not necessarily family). Guilty, guilty, guilty races through my mind; I picture a judge pounding his gavel and sentencing me to a life of guilt!

I believe going to Catholic School coupled with my dysfunctional upbringing really did a number on me. First, growing up within an alcoholic family wasn’t fun. My father’s parents did a number on him, and he ended up passing certain beliefs and thoughts onto to me and my sister. Now, I have to undo all the bullshit that was spoken over me. For example, my father was held responsible for the actions of his brothers. Of course, he passed this illogical thinking onto my sister who felt major responsibility for me. If I did something wrong, she got in trouble for it. This never made sense to me. A few years before my father died, he told me I would be responsible for the family. What are we, the Corleone family? We’re not in the mafia! Second, I never felt connected to my family. That’s just the way it is. I always believed that I was adopted or dropped from the heavens into my family. Third, I’m highly independent. I like to do my own thing, on my own terms. I prefer to come and go as I please. I prefer to pay my own bills. I also cherish my space and enjoy being quiet, especially in the morning. Rules are meant to be examined and perhaps rewritten. Sometimes they don’t serve the greater good.

I don’t agree with wallowing in self-pity and playing the “Poor Me” song over and over again. All of us make choices in our lives. As an adult, I know I can be, do, and have anything in life. However, that pesky 5-letter word (guilt) is still wreaking havoc on my life.

How to let go of guilt

1. Speak your truth. This may be uncomfortable at first, but once you tell people what you think of them (gently) and start saying “No” and mean it, you’ll feel better.

2. Stay present. The past is over with, and the future hasn’t been written yet. Your future will be created based on your feelings and thoughts in the present. To stay in the present, say out loud what you see in front of you. Hearing your voice and words will bring you back to the present.

3. Stop the blame game. Your parents and others did the best they could. Learn from their mistakes. Be grateful for the contrast because it will help you figure out what you want.

4. Notice your thoughts and feelings. Don’t stuff your feelings or brush them off. Sit with them for a while. You’ll be able to move forward once you process them.

5. Let go of judgment. This can be tough. Judging another means you judge yourself.

6. Be of service. Volunteer at your favorite charity or begin your own. Give back and help others but makes sure you’re doing it because you want to not because you want to get something in return.

7. Keep your word. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at 5 pm, be on time. If you’ll be late, make a phone call or send a text message.

8. Listen to your intuition. This can be tricky you have constant mental chatter in your head. Get quiet and listen to the whispers on the wind; listen to your body and how you feel. Trust your instinct.

9. Forgive. Forgive yourself and others because it will set you free. Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean, “What you did to me was all right and we’re totally cool.” It simply releases you from the person or situation. You’ll like a burden has been lifted off of you.

I watched Oprah’s last show and she said the following, “What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every tree, every human being? Energy. And you’re responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others. Don’t wait for somebody else to save you, to complete you, to fix you.” I would add, “You are responsible for your own happiness.” I wish my family would read this. I’m not responsible for them.

I know I have the power to release me from the Guilt Prison but it’s a push pull. I feel bad that I have no desire to communicate with certain family members, but I can’t help how I feel. I visualize them with the sun above their heads and gold coins falling around because this symbolizes happiness and prosperity to me. I ask God and the angels to help them. I can’t force them to change; it’s not my job. I send them lots of love, but I won’t subject myself to their shenanigans. My connection with God, source energy, universal intelligence, etc. and feeling good is priority number one!


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