I have heard that of all the emotions we feel, guilt has the lowest vibration.
I am the queen of ‘feeling guilty.’ It is something I have been aware of, and worked with stopping, for years; but yesterday was a challenge. My son had the flu all weekend, and I managed to pick it up Monday morning.
This meant I had to cancel yoga classes, call into work, and keep Miles home from daycare. Guilt floods me. Why?! I have no control over my illness. I feel bad because my students have paid for their classes (and they all understand, who wants to come to a class and pick up a flu bug anyways?!), I feel bad because I’m worried work is short-staffed, I feel bad because Miles needs out of the house and should be playing with his friends.
I spent the first half of my day home yesterday, feeling guilty. As email messages flooded in ‘feel better Jenni’ I knew there was no need for me to be feeling so bad about my decision. The real realization came when I messaged my co-worker at the end of the day and she said they had a great night at work. I felt flooded with relief. You mean the world does go on without me?! How liberating!
Yesterday was a great reminder of the importance of self-care and being able to nurture ourselves first. You cannot take care of others if you yourself are burning out or fighting illness.
I am not the only person who strives on to help others, while forgetting about my own needs. And then burn out hits. I did a whole project on ‘compassion fatigue’ a condition I was very close to hitting during my last semester at college. It was guilt that fueled that fire: I didn’t want to let anyone down. I struggled to keep my sanity as a new mother, full time student, and fulfill the needs of others in my life.
Yoga has helped bring me back to my center of sanity over and over again. The philosophies inspire me and speak to me in ways that help me make sense of life. They make me understand that guilt is a useless emotion to harbour.
Letting go of guilt frees us to trust that things will work themselves out, without us needing to control them. Letting go of guilt lets us vibrate at higher frequencies and feel the joy of life. Letting go of guilt gives others responsibility of themselves, and allows us to gratefully receive help and support from them.
For those of you harbouring guilt, let it go now, and watch how life goes on.