Should you Feel Guilty?

I once ate a whole bag of veggie sticks.

Shortly after that, I made a therapist appointment.

I didn’t make the appointment because of what I did to those veggies sticks, but the two happened so close to each other that I surely need to assume some connection.

Guilt is often a hurdle for me. I tend to look to myself as the one at fault for unwanted events happening near me, even when I’m not responsible.

:: Our member, Rianne moves to a different state::

Jeff- “Why weren’t we good enough? We could have done so much more! Was it the potholes?!”

Guilt is what you feel when you cede from a desire. Maybe from the fear of not being accepted by society at large, the backlash from a partner, or even the fear of who you would become if you actually fulfilled that desire and wanted more of it.

What does this have to do with fitness?

Well…

I want to propose a radical idea.

It isn’t the “bad” things that you feel guilty about. It’s putting the good things on the backburner to stay in the same pattern of doing the “bad” things, that you feel guilty about.

Eating a whole bag of something or drinking when you said you wouldn’t isn’t your desire. They are the pattern that’s distracting you from your real desire. Your desire is to be leaner or healthier, and you feel guilty from acting out of alignment with that core desire.

Make sense?

If not:

It helps if we flip the script on guilt because it’s a human emotion and humans are bass-ackwards about most things.

We don’t say in an argument with a partner “I want you to leave!” because we want them to leave. We want to say “I want you to fight to stay!” …but we can’t tell them that because if we did then they would only stay because we asked them to, and it wouldn’t be genuine.

An example of how backward we can be about things.

My friend Ken won’t go near ledges or cliff outlooks. He doesn’t say he is afraid of heights. He says “I feel like jumping when I get too close.”

Ken has a desire to jump, that is what scares him.

So Ken puts the desire to jump on the backburner by steering clear of the thing that scares him, fulfilling that desire to jump. Who would Ken be if he fulfilled his desire?  Well, he would be mush. But he’ll also have unanswered questions, mystery and this unexplainable compulsion to jump, So…

What do you do about that?

The key to Ken’s jumping thing and also the guilt thing we all experience is simple. Find a healthy or safe way to explore your desires.

Instead of jumping off a cliffside. Ken could go bungee jumping. He could go skydiving or parachute out of a plane with a professional strapped to him.

Then, one of two things will happen.

His desire will fade, since he explored it and no longer has questions, mystery, and drives around it.

OR

He will turn out to love it, and he’ll be exploring quite a bit more of it.

“But wait, that solves nothing.”

Actually, Ken could go skydiving every weekend. Then, he gets certified in it and takes others through jumps. Then he quits his job where he is unhappy and gets that loan for a plane and opens his own skydiving school. Then Ken happily lives ever after.

I’m not talking about little “guilty pleasures” heheheI’mlonely.

I mean deep core desires and urges. To live a better life. To look differently. To be a public speaker for a day. To perform stand up comedy.

Remember, guilt comes from not acting on your desire.

So when you’re feeling guilty after eating a ton of pizza, say to yourself, “It’s not the pizza.”

What core desire did you hold yourself back from reaching by holding to the pattern of ton-o-pizza.

For me, this is a big enough realization to explore more of what I really want to see more of in my life. Even if it means looking a little weird, or giving up alcohol, and sleeping in. Because I didn’t feel guilty about drinking and sleeping in. I felt guilty about holding myself back from who I wanted to become by doing it.

If you start examining what you’ve been doing a lot of lately and don’t like what you find down there. You don’t have to go cold turkey on everything.

Maybe we can make our own pizza with ingredients we bought from the store. We don’t have to stop drinking and change our weekends all at once. We could listen to a book on controlling drinking.

You don’t have to start at an open mic night. You can start by telling jokes to you dog.

We can edge our way closer to our desire in a healthy way.

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