The unnecessary baggage of guilt

How many of us can honestly claim to have felt no guilt while a) Having a good time b) Enjoying well deserved success c) Genuinely feeling happy about something?

I am sure even in your purest moments of joy or success, you have felt guilty about either neglecting your loved ones, or paying less attention to the quality of your work, or not working out enough, or not paying enough attention to your health.

Guilt is like an uncalled for, uninvited guest which firmly lodges itself in our minds and begins controlling it thereafter. It occupies a lot of space and slowly eats up peace of mind and joy. It draws sustenance from our insecurities and lack of self esteem. Guilt is omnipresent and refuses to budge, or let any positive emotion reign on your mind.

But if we think rationally, we can look guilt in the eye and challenge it directly. Why do we need to feel guilty all the time? Okay, I have given priority to my personal needs over those of my loved ones. Don’t I need to love myself first? Fine, I have reached a milestone of my career at the cost of domestic happiness. Can’t I enjoy my success without any nagging guilt? It’s okay if I love to party….that gives me happiness. Okay, I have not studied enough….I have spent my time pursuing my other interests.

Do we need to censure ourselves all the time by thinking:

I am a bad mother/teacher/parent/caregiver/employee

I am only concerned with my own happiness

I suck at doing anything well

I am less successful than my friends/classmates/colleagues

I am too lazy and laid-back

The first thing you need to do is to get rid of the baggage of unnecessary guilt. It will give you ulcers and heartburn, and stress, and nothing else. So say a firm goodbye to this uninvited guest who has already overstayed in your mind!

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