Trashing the sense of guilt

Have you ever experienced a time in your life when you keep on saying to yourself that you are fine but you know you are lying? Maybe one day you had a strange friction inside your chest. An annoying voice talking loud to your ears on another one. You know the issue isn’t your body though.

And have you ever repeatedly tried to forget about all this while the bad symptoms punctually come back like boomerangs? Those times we still keep on saying to ourselves we are fine but…

I have been experiencing a repeated distress of this kind for some time as I wrote in a recent post. It wasn’t my first time ever but it surely was after almost a year. A year of feeling in the right place, with the right people, enjoying most of what I was doing.

As an almost automated consequence, I spent some weeks reflecting on what could be done to have this state of distress changed. Little by little, my reflections lead me to dig deeper and in my far past.

I was raised in what many people would call a ‘good family’. My parents were both teachers. Dad was a man of science – atheist and living most of the time inside his head. Mom was a theologist – a Christian believer who dedicated her whole life to students, church and family. I was used to hearing contrasting opinions all the time. I was also given rules to follow, which in most cases I couldn’t help but break.

Now that I am almost 34 years old, the echo of those words resounds inside my mind which I see in constant change. Those conservative and one-way values I carry from my childhood make me struggle to have faith in myself. How to find harmony living the contrasts of my interior world and what I want to add, day by day, from my experience?

Then – one day – I had enough. Like a tired frame that on a specific day, after years, decides to fall from the wall where is hanging.

Less than a month ago I willingly quit an unexplained sadness which was manifesting as being tired of living. I started with a very important step: trying to quit complaining about myself. I started to repeat out loud, basically every day

Stop feeling guilty

Followed by, on an equal almost daily basis

Seriously, stop this shit!

I said ‘No‘ to my sense of guilt which forbids my will to give the notice to my employer and go travelling again. As if I were guilty of committing murder by leaving my boyfriend for some time or quitting job n. 10 of my CV to following my gut – again. I buried both of my parents and I still feel the weight of a structure which breaths on my neck every time I think out of ‘their’ box.

This is how I live, who I am. What makes me happy.

Far from blaming religions or the education I received in this piece of writing, we have to admit that how we were raised says a lot about who we are today. Fighting those old, encrusted ideas when everything looks fine can be very hard.

To my own benefit, I’ve reached a point in my life where I am at least trying not to care that much anymore. I have a duty towards myself: to live feeling good about who I am. Feeling alive is beautiful. It’s priceless. It makes me believe in life’s magic.

In my experience, I understood that very often I need to be brave to say out loud what I want and choose it. Embrace it. Stop feeling guilty.

There should be no shame in it, even when the acceptance is hard and when the path looks steep and long. The reward is the best prize even though enjoying the process should be the first goal.  Living in peace with ourselves day after day, no matter where we are, what we are doing – is there any better feeling?

No. There is nothing like that.

When we hear you are one decision away to live the life you want, the marriage you want, the job you want we shouldn’t shake our heads. Unless we want to live in misery.

But mind you – living in joy is highly addictive. One day only and we will never get back to the person we were yesterday 🙂

I’d love to hear your experience on this. Are you a believer? Were you raised with strict rules? To which extent do you think your childhood education is conditioning your adulthood when there is a clash?

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