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When guilt shows up do this…

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This morning as I started a meditation session a familiar feeling crept in: GUILT.

Guilt was manifesting because a habitual mindset of mine began firing off; the mindset that I should be doing something different, something more productive, something that looked like work.

Fortunately I was in a state of awareness and caught it, setting it aside so I could focus on the meditation. But this is not an uncommon thing for my brain to do, to make me feel guilty for “not doing enough”.

We all have thoughts that fire off in our heads that create the feeling of guilt. And the vast majority of that occurs because we were taught to feel guilty about certain choices and actions.

If the guilt takes hold, negative thoughts about ourselves can fire up, sending us into a downward spiral. So the next time you feel guilt creeping in, give this a try:

Rather than letting it take you down a negative rabbit hole, consider these two things:

1. Is this guilt productive for me? So much guilt is learned, and it’s a bunch of BS. I’m glad I feel guilt over hurting another living thing, either physically or emotionally. That’s productive guilt for me. But feeling guilty about using my time to meditate? That makes no sense.

2. How can this guilt make me better? In some cases, feeling guilty CAN level us up and make us better people. In other cases, recognizing you are feeling guilt simply out of habit because you were taught to, and letting go of that guilt, can be the leveling up, making you a stronger and more resilient human.

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash