If you know me well, or have been reading this little corner of the world for awhile, you know that I often talk about letting go. And one of the reasons I do this is because I have so much to let go. And today, I was reminded about letting go of the guilt.
This evening, I talked with a dear friend about the idea of taking care of yourself. Putting yourself first. And when I asked her why she doesn't do this, even though she said she wants to and should and on and on...she said in a very quiet voice, "I don't know how." This was so huge. She went on to talk about how she always feel guilty if she puts herself before her job, her friends, her family, all the other stuff she should be doing.
This is a lesson that will be repeated and repeated until it is learned. You cannot live your best life unless you learn to take care of yourself. I believe this is true. And I believe I have not learned it either. You cannot keep your eyes open wide enough to see what is coming next if you are to busy taking care of everyone else. And even people who spend their entire life taking care of others in the most selfless of ways, I believe that they know how to take care of themselves. It may not be with bubblebaths or a shopping spree at a bookstore. Rather, it is more an understanding of what their souls need.
What if we sat in the quiet long enough to listen to what our souls need?
As I sat thinking about this conversation, all of my own guilt decided to bubble up to the surface...I think it heard an invitation I did not realize I had extended.
So tonight, before I go to bed and try to quiet my mind enough to sleep I want to release this guilt:
That I have once again forgotten that ice cream is not a food group and eaten some late at night with a smile on my face.
That I haven't called back some people who have called lately. I am neck-deep in work when I am used to being knee-deep and I am having a hard time juggling it all.
That I have not sent out three packages to other bloggers yet. One that is for a Creativity Exchange swap that I should have sent two weeks ago. Another as a return thank you for a surprise received in the mail. And another that I haven't even started yet that is a trade that I am so excited about. I have made many excuses about being in the midst of moving my art stuff from the dining room table and the living room couch (they are actually in the same room) into my home office that I am making a home office/studio. But really, I simply am having a hard time juggling having stuff to do for once. I am used to have a few hours of work a day and plenty of time to clean, play, nap, talk on the phone, help others, and on and on. I am not complaining. I love that I have lots of work (and so do my checking account and credit card bills), and that I have made some new friends so my social life is more interesting than it has been since we moved here, and that people are reaching out to me. But I still hate that I said, "yes i want to share part of myself through some art and send you something," yet I have not done it.(Remember, this is my guilt - not yours. I love the swaps and will send stuff soon...just please forgive me that they will be late, delayed, and all that stuff.)
That when I feel stress like this I forget to just enjoy the intimate moments with my husband. He invited me for a date after work today. We went for a walk in the woods. Then to our favorite little grocery for food for dinner. Then made dinner together and ate it outside. Guess I feel better about this one already.
That I forget the power of my own words sometimes.
That I sometimes wish Millie was my previous dog Traveler. Well, I kind of just wish they were both my current dogs (though they would have not really gotten along).
That I want to say no to an editing project I do as a volunteer. I do not have time. But I will say yes again. Yes, I will. But this time, I will set some boundaries.
That I am behind in writing a paper for my yoga training. And my presentation. At least I think I know what I will be doing for that. But I have not done the art journal example I planned to work on every day this month so I could show everyone what one would look like.
That I do not have time to read all the blogs I want to read everyday. And I have time to read some, but I don't have time to comment. Yet, people come here and leave me the nicest notes. (thank you)
That I forgot my husband's and my first date anniversary on Friday. He forgot, then remembered, then forgot too. But me, I don't ever forget. But I did. Makes me really sad for some reason. I think because I really get how that day five years ago changed my life forever.
Oh I think I could go on and on here...but this is enough for tonight.
What guilt do you need to release today? Do it now my friends...let it go.