Living Out Loud
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Living Out Loud

Why We Need to Live a Little

Don’t let guilt refrain you from living the life you deserve.

Photo by Malik Skydsgaard on Unsplash

I love chocolate cake. It’s my guilty pleasure, which is why I indulge in it only when there is an occasion or if I feel low.

Once I dig in, I enjoy the rush of emotions the chocolate gives me. I am lost, and I feel grateful for this sinful pleasure. Until I regret it, immediately thinking about the number of calories I will add on.

The sudden rush, as fast as it makes me feel good, turns into pure guilt.

I finish the entire piece anyway and then sulk. I get so angry at this behaviour I exhibit, and I know I am too harsh on myself.

Until I decided I need to live a little.

The Guilt Trap

Guilt is so tricky. It tricks you into thinking you are not worth it. Even though you work so hard to be where you are today, one slip of a moment and you think you aren’t worthy of anything in life.

Why, because you bent the rules for one day?

Sometimes we are thrown into guilt based on how others will perceive our actions. Will they laugh at our decisions or, even worse, if we fail to achieve what we claimed will cause us the utmost shame. Guilt knows how to wreck our mindset even before we take a risk. It’s one of the most significant barriers when we think of trying something new.

But more than guilt being an inner feeling, I realised it is governed more by external circumstances.

Here is how:

Should I Do This

It’s our life, but so often, we give the reins to others. Whenever I think of buying something for myself, it’s strange, but my mind thinks about how others will perceive my buying decisions. Will they think I splurged on something worthless, or will they feel it was a good investment?

What’s funny is that I am spending my hard-earned money, and yet I think what others will think.

It’s not pathetic to think this way. It’s normal. But the fact that we are disgusted with this thinking is what we need to work on.

How will we grow if we don’t experience new circumstances? These new situations will only arise if we forget what others think and try something new. So, what if it was a good or bad investment? You are fully capable of analysing the pros and cons of your purchase. How it makes you feel after is for you to decide. Do hell with what others think. It’s not their money anyway.

I Will Have to Pay the Price

We know what’s good and bad for us. So, when we slip, we see the work we need to do to get back on track.

On Sundays, I let myself sleep a bit more than usual. This results in a delay in everything that I have planned for the day. I cut down on meditation time, and then I feel awful. But I also tell myself that tomorrow I will get back to my set schedule. But still, my mind hovers on how I let myself easy.

If we are fans of following a routine, do know that you will stick to it and not become complacent just because you bent the rules for one day. Guilt is designed to make you feel miserable, but we need to shut that devil in our heads and give ourselves a break.

We deserve it because we work so hard and tick all the boxes that give you and the people around your life a fulfilled life. And if you genuinely need to stay afloat in life’s battles, you need to listen to your heart and take a break, and shut the guilt.

Its Your Journey

One image or a video of someone else’s accomplishments makes us feel useless. What we don’t realise is that we all have our unique journey. That’s what makes us unique, so what is the guilt all about?

I know that we cannot stay rational all the time, and it’s completely normal to feel that we are not living the lives we intend to. But no one achieves their ideal overnight. And the best part, no one needs to know your journey. What you do with your life is unique, and you will get where you want to be in due time. All you can do for now is stop beating yourself up for what you don’t have, start looking at what you have, and then see how you can improve your life.

When guilt takes over me first, I let myself feel it. I let it wash over me, and I feel it start to fade the moment I do that. Then I make a gratitude list, and suddenly everything falls in perspective.

It helps me focus on my blessings. I change my thinking from how many calories I will gain to how grateful I am to enjoy this cake. I focus on how I get to live another day and how I can fulfill my desires by working hard. That itself is a blessing.

Feeling guilty for the most mundane things is okay. We are human. But what’s not okay is to give it importance. In the 24 hours that we get, thinking about it for an hour or two is fine. But investing our entire day in it is just not worth it.

Let’s think about it this way. We get to live, make a difference and enjoy the simple things in life. The moment we think about this, every time we feel guilty, we will live a little. And what’s life without a bit of guilty pleasure anyway?

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