For the first time in ages the alarm was set on 5.23am. I put my alarm on too, in sympathy and empathy for Adrian, even though I don’t go back to work until tomorrow. My eyes were stinging and a part of me just wanted for us to be able to fall back into bed, with our fresh bed sheets and just smile for a while. But it also felt okay not to. This time off work we have done exactly what we have wanted. Not what we should’ve, could’ve would’ve. We asked and listened. Feelings of guilt for not doing shit didn’t belong with us, thank god, I am done with guilt.
“What is the right thing to do, you tell me!”
Guilt has been one of my primary emotions growing up, always scared of doing the “wrong” thing. Always scared of what others thought of me. Always scared of hurting peoples feelings. I felt so much guilt for being, choosing and doing that I think I lost my willpower and self trust at a young age. I got paralysed and I begged people: What is the right thing to do, you tell me!
I took this opportunity to fight my guilt, and I feel as if I’ve got the upper hand. When I feel guilt appear in my body I try to understand where it comes from, not just give in to it and do as it force me to do. Sometimes it takes meditation, writing, music, walking, running, contemplating, drawing to understand the source of the guilt, which often relieves me from it. I feel as if guilt is a mechanism that tries to keep you in line with society. It’s a kind of force that can be used on you so that you do what other people want you to do or do the same as other people.
I’m not talking about guilt that one might feel if someone else’s feelings actually have been hurt, I think that is the purpose of guilt – to make us feel empathy for one another. I’m talking about the guilt that lingers in my body when I sleep in, when I see other people work out and I’m resting my body, when I compare myself with others who are busy working hard with stuff I’m not interested in, or the guilt of not doing what someone want you to do because you mightn’t believe it is the right thing to do but you still feel guilty for not doing it. I’m talking about that kind of guilt. That’s the one I’ve been fighting for the last couple of weeks, and I have loved it.
It made me realise how much time I’ve spent doing shit that isn’t really worth anything for me, anymore. And it has gained me so much time to actually being the person I need to be, because I’ve learnt to listen, feel and go with the flow without trying to control every minute of the day. My stress levels has more than halved, stress is now a rarity- when it used to be my engine. It has freed me from thinking that I have to be anything other than what I am at the moment, and that is a big victory.
Don’t live with guilt as the engine, live with your emotions of excitement, love and freedom. Don’t give in to the pressure and think you “should” do this or that.
How do YOU want to live, and how will you do it?