The first step is knowing the difference between healthy guilt (which motivates us to improve ourselves) and toxic guilt (which harms us by keeping us feeling crappy and stuck). Just knowing the difference between the two and being able to untangle them is already empowering! If you missed last week's blog post about this, you can check it out here. In this post I want to share with you some tools for processing toxic guilt. I found this amazing 5 step approach in a book by Susan Carrell called "Escaping Toxic Guilt" which I've adapted for my blog here.
I've noticed that most of the people in my life are like me in that they enjoy helping others, and sometimes that results in spreading ourselves too thin, feeling guilty about not being able to give enough, or saying no. Or maybe it's worrying more about how other people will be negatively affected by our decisions, and not taking into consideration how we harm ourselves when we put others first. If you're not someone who is caring for others in your personal life or in a helping profession, I'm sure you can still relate to this in some way. After all, you probably provide a service to others for a living. And since what we do for a living is so important to us and so caught up in our identity, I'm sure you strive to provide the very best service you possibly can. So guilt may show up in the form of saying no to customers, clients, co-workers, or managers-- or it might even be about taking time for yourself to relax and experience pleasure when there's still work to be done. It has a lot to do with setting boundaries. Guilt is one of those emotions that can be a block to manifesting the life you dream of. If you find yourself consistently reacting with guilt to situations that come up, or feel guilt about things that have happened in the past, you may not be allowing blessings into your life. The energy of guilt is the opposite of welcoming blessings. The thoughts that go along with feeling guilty are usually about feeling undeserving, lack of control, and harshness towards the Self