Feeling guilty is an absolutely useless and unproductive emotion. It does nothing to change the past, totally ruins your present and will most likely not help you act differently in the future either. No matter how much we hope that the longer we torture ourselves with this feeling, the better we will be in the future. That’s bullshit!
I had a long talk with my friend today about how I acted with my kids recently, how irritated I got early in the morning when I was not fully awake, yet they were already sucking my blood and energy with full force. I told her I was not proud of how I behaved, but also, I was not giving into this guilty feeling that was slowing creeping up on me whenever I was think about the past. Because I am a human being with my own limitations, my own weaknesses, and no matter how much I’m trying to be holy and immaculate and this mature adult persona, I still have my Achilles heel, and that’s too much noise too early in the morning. So I have two roads in front of me:
1) I can either sit here, feel like a shitty miserable human being and beat myself up over what I did, but that’s not gonna change anything in the past at all. I won’t be able to go back and redo it. And even if I would be able to go back, feeling how I felt at the moment, thinking the thoughts I had at the time, I realize I had absolutely no choice BUT to act the way I did. I was believing my thoughts. I believed that humans shouldn’t be able to utter a word before 9 am and I believed I was tired, sick and exhausted. I believed I was irritated. So based on what I believed, the only way I could respond is barking at my kids to leave me alone until I prepare breakfast. That’s it. I can drive myself crazy with the “shoulda, woulda, coulda”s of life, but what good would that do, and how would that change anything???? It would just make me feel even more shitty about myself…and we all know how good, mature and responsible those humans act who feel horrible about themselves.
2) I can just accept that the past has happened the way it happened, and I have no control over it anymore. I can make amends, apologize to my kids, tell them that I prefer silence in the mornings and we can work out a plan how to coexist in the mornings so everyone is happy in the future. And I did it all. Plus on top of it all, I threw a HUGE amount of self love and forgiveness into the mix.
“But how could you? You don’t deserve it?! You should feel ashamed longer. You messed up! What’s to love about that? About you? How can you possibly love a person who yells and isnangry in the mornings? How can you possibly love that part of you?”
Well, guess what?! That’s part of me, too. Just like the nice, the funny, the happy, the flexible, the creative me, so is the annoyed, cranky, irritated, loud, angry parts. They all create the whole and I LOVE every little bit of it. Especially the ones that don’t deserve love. Because those parts NEED it the most. And I accept them. I won’t fight against them. Because the more I fight and deny them, the stronger they get, and the more frequently they come back. So I accept them as they are, part of me, part of you and part of everyone. And I love that I get to experience how it feels to be angry, annoyed, cranky and irritated. That’s part of the human existence package I signed up for. No one said we should always be holy, quiet and balanced. So why should I put this unrealistic expectation on me?
I am human, and I love that. I have all kinds of emotions and I love that. I lose my temper and I love that (because that way I can relate to people who do as well). I realize when I fuck something up, and I love that (how mature I become). I apologize when I am aware of my fuckups, and I love that.(props to me) I love the whole process, because why not? Going against it and arguing with it will make me lose that battle (but only a 100% of the time, as Byron Katie so wisely said).
So that’s how I broke up my on again/off again relationship with my boyfriend, Guilt. It was an unproductive, not efficient, toxic relationship, and I am better off without him!
So long Jimmy… I mean, Guilt!