In her case the process was transformative. Two weeks later she looked brighter and happier. She reported how there was no more guilt when she couldn’t get to something she wanted to do. She said she felt a weight had been lifted from her shoulders and she was free to just be herself and get on with her busy life.
Loose the guilt…
As Women we are professionals when it comes to guilt. As soon as we are born we feel guilty for making our Mothers labor so long and guilty the nurse had to clean up. Growing up and older it only gets worse, we have children and now we are roped in for life, chained to the guilt machine.
Every night when I go to bed I lay there and make myself promise that the next day will be different. I will spend more time with each child and make a little time for my husband, fit in exercise and make a healthier dinner, but each night I go to bed beating myself up for falling short again, another day.
I just can’t get it all in. The more I berate myself the further I slide into this hole of quicksand that I can’t get out of. Is it possible to be the perfect Mother, wife, friend, neighbor, blogger :), sister, daughter etc. all at one time. Rationally, I know that I just can’t do it. But why do we push ourselves so hard, and feel like failures when we set our expectations so high that they can’t possibly be reached?
So I had pizza and a mozzarella stick (o.k. maybe two…) for dinner. So what? Have your normal cottage cheese and fruit for breakfast and eat better the next day. Easy to say here, and easy to tell someone else. Oh no, not in my head, I will be hating myself for the next 12 hours. Why do we do this? Why did I eat that knowing I would be mad at myself also? The answers I believe are different for everyone, simply because we are all in different places in our lives.
On Lance Armstrongs site, Livestrong they talk about guilt and explain that most guilty feelings are irrational. I have heard this before other places as well. I also know that we associate the word “should” with guilt. “I really should go exercise”, “You should have known better than to eat that pizza”. The following is a conversation a therapist had with a patient;
I suggested she practice becoming aware of each time the uses ( the word should) it and practice changing her language to avoid using “should.” For example, when she started to say “I should call my daughter tonight,” she changed it to “I want to call my daughter tonight.” She changed, “I have a heavy day tomorrow so I should go to bed early,” to “…so I’m going to bed early.”
For some of us it may be as easy as paying attention to the words we say, so that we don’t put any added pressure on ourselves. Changing our mindset to “I want to go exercise” instead of “I have/should go exercise” can make a difference. When we start to see ourselves succeed we start dropping some of the guilt. I need to change my mindset that “I don’t want the pizza” instead of “I really shouldn’t have any” because I always end up doing it.
I didn’t mean to be all serious and a funhater 🙂 this week, but I can’t ever remember a time in my life when I have been busier. The guilt is overwhelming. So, I have to take a little at a time and start first with changing my mindset, get rid of the should’s, and focus on the end goal. The house is going to be a mess again tomorrow, I might have pizza this weekend, and I might not run a 7 min. mile by next week. But, I can toss the sugar cereal, take a walk with my husband and read the kids as many bed time books as I can before I fall asleep on their floor!
Those are the things that I want to do.
What about you?