I’ve been thinking about guilt a lot lately.
About how much we live with constant + crushing guilt and how it affects us emotionally.
For as long as I can remember I have felt a need to make the people around me happy, and felt extreme guilt if I couldn’t. I have always felt this burden, this crushng feeling to please the people around me, even when it is at my expense. I’ve put a lot of time into putting my happiness and well being on the back burner, because it felt more important to please others. This was on me and not something that was intentional, but it becomes easy to be a certain way and to serve others constantly until life reminds you that this is not possible.
A little over a year ago I ended up in the hospital with symptoms of a stroke that no testing could figure out. Months and months of doctors and tests that came back clear of the big stuff (thank God), yet didn’t explain what was happening. It wasn’t until a friend gently asked me if I felt it was anxiety/a panic attack that things became more clear to me. I could see the clear path from a few events in my life at that time and my stay in the hospital. I found that my guilt, of failing to make people happy and the backlash from that (a a few other things) was a direct correlation. After a year of unpacking I can see the slow unravelling of what I thought I knew about myself and why I act a certain way in situations. How guilt drives me to care for others more than myself. How the need to be perfect to be loved and accepted is a total lie. I’ve learned so much and am still learning, but I know this…
It is okay to do things for yourself, even if those close to you don’t approve. It’s okay to say no and hold boundaries even if it makes people mad. It is truly uncomfortable to sit with these feelings, but the more you do it the more you find that they pass. Guilty feelings pass, and creating space for yourself is absolutely a priority. You are worth it.