Should you feel guilty?

Hello gorgeous,

First of all, I would like to apologize for not having written for 2 weeks, it was school holidays here and my planning had to adapt… Moreover, I saw it as an experiment for me: am I going to feel guilty and how is that feeling going to develop?

I think guilt is a very common feeling in our culture and I don’t know anybody who does not feel guilty from time to time (and I think mothers are the worst ;-)). But to me, there are 2 types of guilt: the first, dictated by our education (in which religion also plays a part), where we position ourselves as kids getting told off by our parents for having done something “wrong” in their eyes. The second is the one that we feel ourselves, independently from education, as adults having their own judgment on good and bad and what we should do or not do (lying and betrayal are perfect examples where everyone has to decide for themselves, based on their own situation…).

I remember when I stopped smoking, years ago. A few months later, I woke up after a dream during which I had smoked again, and the feeling of guilt woke me up, like, no, I haven’t done that, have I? It was my own decision to stop smoking and nobody had pushed me to do it. Still, I was really nearly in panic because of that dream!

I think that, as much as we would like to get rid of that, more often than not, we are torn by this feeling, as if we were still young kids waiting to be scolded and punished. I am not saying that we should never feel guilty; obviously we should know what we do now and act consequently! But I would like tot suggest that we ask ourselves the question when that happens: is this guilt feeling coming from me or from my parents/family/education? Because when it’s the latter, we might want to learn to release it, to free ourselves from it, so we can be fully ourselves instead of still fitting the parental mould.

So, if you are curious about how not writing felt to me… I would say: deliciously guilty! It evolved of course during those 2 weeks, and I knew I would come back to you after this break, but I made sure I was aware of it, and I wanted to enjoy it as well, to fully embrace it, because it was fully mine J.

So, tell me, are you feeling guilty for anything right now? And is it really yours?

I don't feel guilt.Whatever I wish to do, I do.

Take good care of yourself and enjoy life!

I wish you a great week.

Much love, Madeleine

3 things not to do when people hurt you (and what to do instead)

Hello gorgeous,

First of all I want to wish you a great year 2016, may your dreams come true and with ease and flow!

I also want to thank you for staying with me and reading me every week (and even if you don’t read me every week I still love you!).

WIN A TRIP

Today I want to talk about what I think we should do and not do when people are acting and reacting in ways that disturb us and even hurt us. It can come from a friend saying things that we find unpleasant (that the same friend might not qualify as such and be unaware that we find them so), or not saying things we expect to hear…

It can be from a relative, it can be from children, who tend to have a mind of their own and show disagreement loud and clear when we do something they don’t like (like getting a new partner…), or from an ex who did not yet “digest” the break-up…

To me, the main thing we have to remember when something like that happens, is that it says more about them than about us… It’s their reaction; it is related to what’s going on in their head, and it can look very different from the reaction we would have to a similar event (and to what we would love to experience too!)

That being said, what might still be difficult to us, and what we should not do, is the following:

  1. Do not take it personally. Again, it’s not about you, it just means this person might be an egocentric and only care about him/herself. Or maybe he or she is jealous and taking it up on you. Or maybe he or she is having a bad day… Whatever the reason behind the reaction, again it is their reaction, their reality, not yours.
  2. Do not feel guilty. I know this might be very difficult as well, when your kid tells you he hates you because your brought somebody home, or because you let somebody use you or disrespect you, or because somebody is upset and you wonder what you might have done that caused his or her reaction. Feeling guilty is not going to help you process this any further, it will just hinder you.
  3. Do not let it spoil your experience. If you stay stuck in this “event” that just happened and re-live it time after time again, you are spoiling the present moment. And the present moment is always all that you have and it is there for you to enjoy it. So, if you brought home your new partner and your kid is upset, will you let that spoil the moment you have? If you just had a date that did not turn out as you would have liked, will you let that spoil the party that you have in a few hours? I think you shouldn’t…

What should you do instead?

  1. By all means, look for the lesson. Is it possible that you did not state clearly enough what you wanted? Or that you did not assert yourself enough? Or that your kid needs stronger limits to be set? Or that you might expect too much from others? If the situation keeps coming back to you, it simply means there is still something for you to learn and grow, try to find it!
  2. Forgive. Yes you heard me all right. What’s the point in getting upset about somebody else’s attitude (once you understood the lesson that is!)? Forgive is not the same as forget, it just means you are able to let go of this specific hurt you just experienced, and move on to something else, to something better. Resentment is only polluting your system, not theirs…

Now, I did not say all of that was easy, don’t get me wrong… I am simply trying to give you an alternative route you can take to feel better, and I hope you will take it when it happens to you. And if you need my help in dealing with this any further, I am right there!

Confession Time…

Hello gorgeous,

I have a confession to make today. I don’t walk the talk sometimes…

What???!!!! You must be thinking… She’s always giving us advice and not following it herself?

Well, I am saying I don’t do ALL those things I tell you to do. I do most of them, but I have issues with some, especially the self-care ones, like daily meditation, taking time for myself etc. Don’t you have the same? You know what is good for you, still you don’t do it? Or not enough of it? So why do we have so much resistance in doing what’s good for us? Although we claim that’s what we wanna do? And how do we overcome it?

I won’t get to the why’s, that would be far too long and is different for each of us, but let me give you a few ideas to overcome our resistance:

  • find what works for you, like a morning ritual (or an evening ritual). I don’t yet have a proper morning ritual (currently working on it), but my evening ritual is to write in my gratitude journal and I now do that for more than one year. Now it has become part of my day, and even though sometimes I am really tired when going to bed I don’t want to miss it, it’s my way of closing the day well. But at the beginning, we always need to go through the few weeks (minimum 3…) it takes to install a new habit (and if we “fail” we need to start all over again!). So once we keep going it gets easier and easier, plus we then realize it’s really a good thing to do 😉
  • I indeed still have a lot of resistance to putting in place a proper morning ritual, as I assume I would have to wake up (even) earlier than now (and that feels like a no-go for me). But I would love to start the day refreshed, calm instead of rushing into it. So I am experimenting with different things to see what will do the trick for me. And maybe I will adopt one and then change. It’s all good, as long as it helps me and I like it!
  • How about getting an accountability partner, like having a buddy that also wants to do morning pages (or whatever ritual you want to try), and promise each other to check and support each other in implementing it?
  • But first, you need to let go of the guilt you might feel if you don’t make it. You need to think that every little thing you do for yourself is already a good thing. Every little drop helps, that’s the most important to remember. Don’t judge yourself or blame yourself for not succeeding or missing a day in your routine. You are progressing every time and thinking of your well-being. You are willing to try things out, and adapting. Isn’t that worth a pat in the back already?

I wish you a wonderful week!