There are as many reasons for living within limitations as there are personalities, but as I’ve talked and read and listened to what women are saying about living free, I’ve found similar themes. Sometimes we’ve had poor role models, or we’ve lived under legalism, or we simply don’t know where to start. I’ve found that the best place to start is with myself, and silencing the voice of guilt.
Summoning the voice of guilt in our lives seems to be a particularly feminine skill set. My husband does not feel guilty if he doesn’t exercise. Or if he reads to the children for less than twenty minutes per day. He doesn’t fall into depths of despair over eating the last piece of cake, watching TV after a long day at work, or wearing a questionably clean t-shirt.
Why do we?
Guilt is a wasted emotion. Your time and emotional energy are better spent on living life in the here and now. This is freedom; to live and love exactly where you are and who you are with in this moment.
Will my kids remember that I was too busy to talk or will they remember that we were free to sit around and laugh about our day together? Will they say I kept a really clean oven or will they remember that we baked a dozen chocolate chip muffins in it every week?
Guilt is selfish. It will tell you that you don’t matter, so that you begin to serve the guilt instead of serving your passions. Discover what makes you come alive, and invite it in, whether it be capturing beauty on film, baking a batch of cookies, going for a run, or sitting in the garden with the bees and a book. Allow yourself to live freely without the voice of guilt attaching itself to the invitation.
Guilt sounds like someone you know. Pay attention to whose voice you are hearing. Mine sounds suspiciously like myself. Not my husband or my mother, and not even like Jesus. It is my own, and since it is my own I know how to silence it best. Find the voice that sounds like freedom and let it speak life not limitations.
Do you fight feelings of guilt? Anyone, anyone, Bueller?
Tomorrow we’ll talk perfectionism. My nemesis.