LETTING GO OF GUILT
The other day a friend of mine told me something and prefaced it with “I can’t believe I’m telling you this, I’m so embarrassed.” She told me that she drove to all the way to a store that was five minutes from her house and when she got out of her car, she realized that her infant wasn’t with her. She frantically rushed home and found her safe and asleep in her driveway, where she accidentally left her, thank goodness. But as you can imagine, she was pierced with intense feelings of guilt and shame for weeks.
Women often feel guilt and shame with parenting, family obligations, work, friendships and with themselves. We feel guilty for letting our kids have too much screen time, for not doing what other people want us to do or not doing enough.
Guilt is the feeling that you get when you think did something wrong and are a bad person. And if you have an inherent belief that you are unworthy or not good enough, you will also feel ashamed.
They are both emotions caused by thoughts and beliefs. And our beliefs about what is right or wrong and good or bad have been absorbed by our social conditioning. Women are taught they are selfish if they put their own needs and desires ahead of another’s and that if they aren't perfect, then they are lacking and not good enough.
Most people don’t question their pre-programmed conditioning and define their values and beliefs for themselves because this level of change is uncomfortable. But it’s so worth it because the alternative is holding you back from having the life you long for.
When you’re operating from a place of guilt and shame, you will never have what you really want. If you give your kids screen time so you can have time to yourself, you’re not going to enjoy it if you spend the time feeling guilty. If you spend time with family out of obligation, you’re not going to connect with them if you feel resentful for having to be there.
Having the life you want starts with recognizing and accepting how you’re thinking and feeling, without any story. It’s from this place that you can consciously choose what you want and what you need to believe to create it.
You can give your kids some screen time or not or say yes or no to an obligation without making it mean anything about you. You can accidently leave your kid in the driveway without making it mean you’re a bad mother. You get to define what it means to be a good mother.
So the next time you feel guilt or shame, think of my friend’s “embarrassing” story. Let it help you exhale and embrace your own humanity with so much self-acceptance.
Doing this deeper work will bring you closer to the truth: that you are good enough and worthy no matter what.
PS - if you’re done having your limiting thoughts and beliefs hold you back in life, sign up for the waitlist for the next Manage Your Mind group program starting in February. It will transform your relationship to stress, anxiety and self-doubt and get you living with more ease and joy.
You can sign up here: Waitlist