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On Overcoming Guilt

By Diane Clement

I have been schlepping around a suitcase, a couple of bags and a bike for a few weeks now; it’s a pain, but I manage.  It doesn’t break my spirit, but it is annoying.  I live out of a bag these days – it’s been many days in reality, months if you will.   But like I said, it doesn’t break my spirit.

I have met my spirit-breaker however.  And her name is Guilt.

I have latched on, claws in.  Attached on to a big, fat bag of guilt.  It’s messy and disorganized, heavy and spirit-sucking.  I have embraced it actually, because there is plenty of pay-off in feeling guilty.  If I feel guilty, I get to be right about being wrong.  That’s right.  I get to be RIGHT about being wrong.  I made a decision back in March that would have me bouncing out of routine for 9+ weeks this summer.  I actually make my “summer plan” based on my need to please others.  Spoiler: I like to feel significant.  And every summer I do the same thing.  I come home and leap around the country trying not to miss anyone along the way.  I have tried to maintain relationships with just about everyone I have ever met and inevitably, someone gets missed; it’s self-sabotage really.  But that’s not what I feel so guilty about.

The notes are off, the tempo obscure and I am living out of sync.

I feel guilty for taking my relationships for granted. For believing that they won’t get weathered with time, and then for expecting to be supported when it’s me who is constantly leaving with my chin up and an semi-emotional (and often knowing I might never see them again) “See you!”

I feel guilty for putting my relationship on pause for 9 weeks and for shuffling though the motions expecting it to remain unchanged.

I feel guilty for changing plans and for letting people down.

And when my brain is tired of feeling guilty, I shift to something else that serves my need to be right about being wrong.

I feel frustrated for embracing an, “I should/shouldn’t/should have …” mentality.

I dwell inside my head, thus I am nowhere.

I feel ashamed of being a people pleaser.

Then I consider myself misunderstood; an easy defense mechanism.

I juggle feeling selfish; but it’s like a hot potato and I don’t enjoy how it feels.  Not one bit.

The result:  DRUMROLL

I feel miserable.

What is guilt really?  Is it realizing you messed up?  Is it being in amidst a mess and trying to make it all work out?

For me it’s resisting my gut.  It’s going against my instinct.  I feel guilty for forcing things to be ok, when they’re not; and knowing it all along.  That’s guilt to me, going against the grain and expecting not to get chafed.

As the saying goes:

“You are only truly ok, when you are ok with not being ok.”

That’s called living in peace.  We make our choices both consciously, and without a second thought.  It’s time I stop expecting, and to start just being ok with not being ok.  Of course I am not ok.  My life is on the brink of another transition and I bridged it with self-centered obligation.

Time to drop the “should/shouldn’t haves” and take back my will. 

With my chin up, my bags and bike in tote, life goes on.

Enough about me.  If you care to drop off some guilt – you can do so below.


About the Author:

Diane Clement has been around the block a few times and her experiences have allowed her to approach situation and opportunities with a different perspective.  She is an international teacher and has lived abroad for the past 12 years.  Teaching has taken her to Japan, Thailand, Colombia, Brazil, and she is currently living in Mexico.She is passionate about triathlons and is also currently pursuing her Baptiste Yoga Instructors certification.  Her blog, See Di Fly is full of all kind of inspirational stuff.