Mira(cle)Doodles by elinap

 

 

One of the best advice we get from the self-help world is to take good care of ourselves, to take our time to nurture ourselves and love ourselves more.

But what if it makes you feel really guilty?

Taking so much time for yourself when there are so many people in your life that need you so much can feel really hard and if you feel guilty about it too it doesn’t make it any easier.

Here’re some ideas about guilt that could help lift the weight from your shoulders and ease your path to happiness and more self-love.

I believe the purpose of guilt is to stop us harming each other and offer a possibility to recognize the need to feel compassion toward each other and ourselves.

If that’s its purpose then what happens to the extra guilt we feel.. Imagine guilt being a quilt that we have woven from stories we tell ourselves.

Sometimes we carry a guiltquilt on our shoulders that harms us. It’s really heavy on our shoulders and weighs us down. It may have some golden tassels on it that make it seem like it’s a glorious thing to do to carry it around. But if we look at it any closer we can see that it has no use in these situations where without it we would thrive and our loved ones would thrive too.

Guilt stops us from harming each other but it also makes us play really small when we hide behind it and use it as an excuse for not for example taking better care of ourselves.

My suggestions for how to stop feeling guilty for taking care of yourself is to:

1. Acknowledge that you are feeling guilty.

Mira(cle)Doodles by elinap

2. Look closer at the golden tassels on your guiltquilt – Is your guilt serving a purpose that is really serving you or is it just another excuse for not taking action or playing small (which is our ego’s way of trying to keep us safe with the old and comfortable)?

3. Remember that guilt is an emotion and an emotion needs just 90 seconds to be felt and then it has done its job. When you feel an emotion, just feel it all the way through, but be careful not to add any stories on it. Just feel it. Cry if you need to, but don’t go digging through old memories that add more emotions on it. The past is gone. Acknowledge it, feel it, breathe through it and let it go.

4. Visualize clearly how your life would be without the guiltquilt that weighs you down. See how much happier you will be and how much happier everyone around you will be and keep taking care of yourself. It’s not impossible to love yourself even if you keep carrying the guilt – Just keep going and you’ll see it will weigh less and less. The guiltquilt will shed from your shoulders over time when you stop weaving new stories into it. Add some self-forgiveness and it will shed even faster.
5. Begin to be aware of how taking care of yourself changes your life. Take a mental before and after image and feel it. Does it make you kinder, more patient and loving? What are the benefits you feel in your daily life? Make a list of your observations. You can also ask from your loved ones if they can see the difference – And if they don’t, make sure you’ll show it!
(This is the best way for me to drop the guiltquilt fast..) You can teach your loved ones to see the benefits and then they may even begin to push you into taking better care of yourself, because they know that you are a better person when you love yourself more. They’ll love it!
Mira(cle)Doodles by elinap

 

After all your mission of adding more self-love in your life is not hurtful for others nor yourself. Guilt isn’t needed now with its original purpose. It’s not necessary. If you have a long history of serving and pleasing others note that you can be a lot more service to others when you take better care of yourself. When you light up your inner light everyone benefits.

Elina Puohiniemi
An artist and a life coach combined - Elina Puohiniemi from Finland - is illustrating the spiritual path with joyful, uncomplicated, colorful Mira(cle)Doodles.
  1. Hi Elina,

    Just wanted to say, Thanks! for the “Letting go of Guilt” message. That got me thinking about why I feel guilt and now, thanks to you, I have some tools to move through these thoughts. Hugs to you in Finnland!

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