This is My Path

Philosophical Processing Journal Prompt ~ J3 E5: How will I address and respond to my guilt on a healthy way?

This is My Path… Have you ever noticed that as you are living your life, the difficult emotions and obstacles always come in waves?

It is very similar to the weather. I mean think about it. I am having a great day. I am feeding my soul. Enjoying the sunshine, going to the beach, finishing a project, going shopping and the sales are amazing!  I am living my best life..

Then as I am keeping on keepin’ on, the weather suddenly changes. In a flash, there is full cloud coverage. No sunshine and too cold to enjoy the beach. It’s like when all of a sudden, I have way too much stuff to do to continue the projects that are dear to my heart. 

Here comes the storm!

All at once, I got hit with a bill I did not expect. My best life instantly turned to shaming and reprimanding myself (interesting how this punisher comes in my mother’s voice…). I got upset and angry at myself, “You woulda had enough if you didn’t go shopping and waste your day!” My anger is now out. I am mad at me and at others because I can’t handle the “bad stuff.” 

But when I take a pause to put some space in my emotions, I realize the bad things that happen are not happening to me. Just as the storms are necessary to bring ecological harmony, the “bad stuff” isn’t bad. It’s all in my perspective. In my thoughts. I am reacting to my thoughts. I so happy that I am able to observe that now.

So instead of spiraling down that self-depicting, blaming and shaming poor me rabbit hole, I stop. I take a deep breath—an audible sigh. I continue on and remind myself that I can handle this.

Simple right? Wrong. Then, all of a sudden, BAM! Like a loud crack of thunder you weren’t expecting, more bad news. Now, I completely fall a part. I tell my heart that this too, will pass. But my mind crumbles. I feel helpless. Too prideful to ask for help. I weep. I shame myself, “You deserve everything that has happened to you. You broke yourself” (is this really my adult voice? Or my childhood voice?).

With this “I’m no good” (which is a scarcity mentality) I either indulge in bad food or starve myself. I tell my self that I need to do something better for myself. But then I feel guilty for taking care of myself rather than being the problem solver for everything and everyone else.

Because it is not real!

I am so over feeling this self punishing guilt. Because it is not real. All I am trying to do is self-care. It’s so hard not to get into my own head. Why all this guilt? 

Guess what? The storm is actually me! I am causing these stupid storms. I know these storms are putting me on a better path from the unhappy one I am on. The storms are there to help me learn and grow. I need to take these deep breaths, stop fighting the reality of my present moment and accept what is. Self-pity is a mindset. I can change my perspective and come from a place of abundance (gratitude for what I have). I can come from a place of love rather than fear (scarcity). I chose different. I choose to love, learn, and grow. This is my path.

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How to Use Wonderful Workbooks

Step 1: Purchase a Philosophical Processing Journal. Step 2: Read the educational material it provides for you on the topic (emotions, anxiety, guilt). Step 3: Use the journal prompts to write in your journal to create some deeper insight into yourself. Step 4: Read what others have written in their journals. Step 5: Email your journal entries to get published: You never know the power of your words and how they will connect with the struggles of others.

Published by Cleveland Emotional Health LLC Network of Private Practices

Catherine is a licensed mental health counselor located in Geneseo NY and the author of the mental health series Philosophical Processing Journals 1-5. Check out her author page on Amazon. See links below.

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