Energize yourself – get rid of guilt!

I talked to 2 young Mums recently who said they feel guilty about leaving their kids to be at work. They are both working for financial reasons, and have no choice in this economy but to work full time to support the family.

I’ve had this conversation before, and I do remember feeling guilty about leaving my kids when they were young, so I think that guilt is a common coping mechanism. My thoughts used to be something like this: “If I feel guilty and beat myself up then I’ll be forgiven for leaving my kids.” Those may be strange thoughts, but that was in my life before cancer.

Having cancer has taught me that guilt is a useless emotion which drains our energy like a loose drain plug in a bathtub full of water.

I now ask people if they made the right decision to work full time. If there are good reasons to make the choice to work full time, then the decision is the right one. If the right decision has been made, there is no need to feel guilty.

If on further reflection, it appears that the decision is the wrong one, more thought needs to take place to rework the decision. After examining all the details, a new decision can be made which will be the right decision to make at the time and with the resources you have been given.

Guilt in itself contributes nothing to your life, but it is a wake up call that energy is being wasted and damage control needs to take place. Let the guilt go down the drain then plug the drain. I believe it is so important to be kind to ourselves, and conserve our energy for the jobs at hand.

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