Guilt. This has been on my mind a lot and has been coming up in conversations. I hear it from so many, and it's a constant struggle for all of us, but especially Mamas!! It doesn't have to be this way. It will always be work in progress, and it will take work to reprogram our thoughts, but imagine a life with less guilt and owning our decisions and choices! Big exhale, right??
Here are 5 ways that I work through when I'm feeling that guilt peek through.
1. Realize perfection is never attainable. We will never feel fully balanced. Balance is something that we all want, but the honest truth is there are chapters, there are times when certain areas in our lives will feel pulled or need more attention. And that's ok! But if you look at someone and think they have it all together--if you sat them down and asked them there will always be an area in their life that feels like it's lacking. So please, let the pressure go. Stop pushing yourself to do it all. The only person it is hurting is you and your family. Own your decisions and if you feel the guilt about something, take note, and fulfill it the following day or next opportunity you have.
2. Use it as a lesson instead of a punishment. Seriously, ladies, how many times do you punish yourself in your head telling yourself what a terrible person you are for not making something or missing out on something. Everything in our lives is a lesson. We are constantly learning from all of our experiences as long as we are open to receiving them. So the next time you feel your inner mean girl (term borrowed from Melissa Ambrosin) chewing you out, take note of it, and see if there is anything you can do now to fix it. If you are beating yourself up for doing something away from your children, maybe that is because when you are with your children, you aren't fully present. I know when I feel the guilt of being away from my kiddos, I will make the time before or after moments of being fully present. I put my phone away and I am there. Right there. Those moments mean so much more than being distracted because you are just longing for some adult time, time alone, or time to yourself to take care of your physical body.
3. Talk it out with a friend. This is one that I've just started getting comfortable with. Friends that help you come to peace with situations instead of commiserating in it. I just started ready Lori Harder's new book, A Tribe Called Bliss, and this is what it is based on. Finding a tribe that is sacred and truly authentic. Sometimes we need to borrow the beliefs of others before we can truly believe in ourselves. Talking it out with a friend that has been there and help navigate how to come to peace with your guilt and understanding that the guilt is someone else's story, or something you have created in your mind will help shift the guilt almost immediately.
4. Write it out and release it. Ladies, hands down journaling is life changing. I'm a big proponent of therapy, and I do believe it is necessary at some point in our lives, but sometimes writing in our journal can be just as effective. It can be used as a brain dump. Release your judgement and guilt of yourself on to paper. Say it all, put those inner mean girl thoughts on to paper and see how insulting they are! You would never speak to your own kids that way, so why is it ok to speak to yourself that way? Come up with solutions on paper, and release the feelings that are making you feel so awful. It can be that simple.
5. Change your story about the guilt. These stories. They can really hold us back from everything in life. They can keep us from being happy, losing weight, being in a good relationship, speaking our truth, being who we are truly meant to be, etc. The story of guilt that we are playing in our heads could be someone else's story, or comment we heard that stuck with us. What if we changed the story on being away from your children. What if we realized that the story of "we shouldn't leave our children for our own happiness," to "when I have time away from my kids and I do what my soul is calling for, I'm a Happier Mom, I'm a Happier Wife, and and overall The Happier Woman." You are worth it, your family is worth it, and gosh, think about how much available energy you will have when you release the constant pressure off of yourself!!!