Guilt is an interesting emotion. It is a useful tool to prevent us from being total assholes, but most of us feel guilty at times when we’re doing nothing wrong at all. Women tend to feel guilty a lot of the time. And when/if you have kids that feeling of guilt becomes pretty much the norm.
Guilt and Motherhood
When my kids were super little it was damn near impossible for me to do anything without them dissolving into tears. I swear if I even so much as left the room to take a wee they’d act as if I’d left them at the train station with a note pinned to their shirts which read ‘FREE TO A GOOD HOME’.
All I wanted was a shower and a sandwich and it felt like I was asking for a goose that laid golden eggs. In the weekends I even felt guilty asking my partner for just a small amount of timeout to do the basics. Instead of being grateful for the free time he was happy to give me, I felt guilty taking it, guilty for putting him out.
When my kids got older and started going to kindy and school I had a bit more free time! It was so good to be able to do all those simple things I’d gone without. Now I could have a shower in peace! I could eat lunch in one sitting without sharing my food or holding a baby whilst chewing. I could go for a swim! I could sit in the sunshine. But of course as soon as I had that spare time I felt guilty using it for myself. I felt like I should use it to clean my house or even try to get a job. I couldn’t possibly just be grateful for my new found breathing room. Oh no. Instead I chose guilt.
Guilt: A Negative Message to the Universe
The guilt wasn’t just exclusive to parenting either. I started to feel guilty about everything. I felt guilty if someone gave me a gift. I felt guilty if someone in a store or café gave me extra special service. I felt guilty if I had to cancel on someone due to issues outside my control – even if the other person was completely understanding. Instead of choosing to be grateful for all of these things – thanking those who were kind to me and thanking the universe for these gifts of abundance – I chose to feel guilty.
I chose to feel as if I didn’t deserve anything good in my life. But when we choose to feel this way we are telling the universe that we don’t deserve good things, that we don’t want them. And, dear unicorn, if that’s the message projecting then that is what we manifest.
Guilt and the Inner Critic
Deep down I knew that this voice of guilt was not doing me any favours. I knew it was my inner critic, the one that embodies an old fashioned martyr woman, a woman born in a time when idle hands were for the devils work and cleanliness was next to godliness. But this woman inside my head was not me. She is a bitter, judgy apparition, that for some reason I wanted to please but did not want to become.
I didn’t want to be the boring woman who self flagellates, who sighs as she toddles off to work claiming not to have a choice. I didn’t want to be the woman moaning about how tired she is because she rushes from school drop off to work to house work, ad nauseam. And most of all I didn’t want to become that old and bitter woman inside my head that never allowed herself the room to find her life purpose. I didn’t want to be that woman that never let herself have fun and experience pleasure.
Choosing Gratitude Over Guilt
When my youngest started school I knew guilt would be a huge challenge for me. My partner and I had always agreed that I would stay at home while the kids were young. Seeing as I hated my pre-children job and that it also didn’t pay well enough to put the kids into to daycare, going back was never on the table.
I started writing when my eldest was a baby and I started working on my novel when number two was about three. I knew that I wanted to finish it and then start working on another. But what I didn’t know was just how hard it would be to quiet those feelings of guilt and simply write. It was as if every word I typed that wasn’t perfect, was another notch on the tally for that evil old inner critic of mine. See! She would rasp. I was right! You’re not a writer! Now go and get a job that pays a little bit of money so you can pay off the mortgage a few years earlier! It was a daily battle to tell her to shut up and choose gratitude over guilt.
Guilt and the Sacral Chakra
Interestingly, the feeling of guilt is associated with an unbalanced sacral chakra, known as Svadhisthana. The sacral chakra is located in the abdomen, below the navel. When Svadhisthana is balanced all is good in the world! You know what you want in life and you are not afraid to ask for it. You’re grateful for your talents and you know where your strengths lie. You feel good in your own skin and allow yourself to experience joy and pleasure. You live life to the full and are grateful for everything the universe delivers to you.
Guilt: Svadhisthana Unbalanced
However, when we allow ourselves to feel too much guilt, Svadhisthana can become blocked. This can cause us to deny ourselves pleasure, fun, intimacy and joy.
You might feel creatively blocked – as if for some reason you just can’t let your creative energy thrive. Your libido will likely be low and you may feel lazy or fatigued. Instead of spending time alone, you’ll want to be around others to boost your energy levels vicariously. Your train of thought may tend towards the negative which is likely to block you from attracting abundance. Physical symptoms include; lower back pain, menstrual cramps and abdominal pain, heavy or irregular periods and urinary tract and kidney infections.
Re-balancing your Sacral Chakra
If you think your Svadhisthana chakra may be blocked fear not! You can rebalance it through food therapy, crystal therapy and nature. Svadhisthana is associated to the colour orange and the element of water.
Foods: mandarins, oranges, melon, kumara, carrots, mangoes.
Crystals: Citrine, orange calcite, amber, tiger eye, garnet and carnelian.
Aromatherapy: As the element of Svadhisthana is water, adding these oils to a hot bath will be even better: Orange, neroli, grapefruit, bergamot, geranium, tangerine and clary sage.
Nature: Go for walks near natural water sources. Think beaches, waterfalls, lakes, and streams. Or go outside just after a downpour to soak up all those negative ions produced by the rain.
Developing a System to Choose Gratitude over Guilt
Over the course of that first year I developed a system that worked for me. Every morning before I started working, I would pour a cup of tea and light a beeswax candle, then I would thank the universe for this opportunity to explore my passion. I would give thanks that things had worked out in a way that allowed me to do this thing that I love so much.
A Daily Ritual to Beat Guilt
I still practise this ritual every day. I thank the universe for everything it has given me. A safe neighbourhood to live in, a wonderful family, a chance to spend my life amongst great people and the opportunity to do what I love whilst receiving all the abundance I need.
“I thank the universe for allowing me this time to become a creative, spiritual, Full Time Unicorn!”
When we choose gratitude over guilt we are changing our vibration to a higher one that makes room for even more abundance and gratitude. Give it a go next time you feel those pangs of guilt!