Raise your hand if you ever experience SELF-INFLICTED GUILT.
I’ve been there & I know it’s NOT fun.
Guilt is such a powerful emotion & takes such a toll on the mind + body. We feel guilty about not meeting deadlines, not accomplishing our goals or getting enough done, not showing up to a friend’s birthday or to a scheduled or planned workout, staying in bed too long, indulging, fighting with loved ones & yes, in the depths of our eating disorder, even about drinking too much water.
The question is WHERE does the guilt stem from? What’s the SOURCE?
When guilt is self-inflicted, WE are the source. The guilt stems from US & is based on negative + irrational thoughts we feed our mind, by which we set “ethical” standards about what’s right, wrong, acceptable or unacceptable.
Situations that wouldn’t otherwise be “unethical” or make the average person feel guilt affect us differently, eat away at us & control our behaviour.
When taken too far, self-inflicted guilt drives us to do things NOT conducive to our health + well-being. In the advanced stages of my ED, I felt guilty for eating an extra cherry tomato, having too many glasses of water & not moving enough.
How did I respond to the guilt?
I punished myself. I ate less to compensate for the extra tomato. I didn’t have the water before bed even though I was thirsty. I forced myself out of bed at 4:30AM to get moving more than yesterday. Crazy & totally unfair, right?
YET I DID THIS TO MYSELF.
How did I move past it?
SELF-REFLECTION IS KEY. The same way I had the power to inflict guilt, I had just as much power to take it away. MY MIND BELIEVES EVERYTHING I TELL IT.
Now, when I feel guilty, I think twice & ask myself if it stems from a rational place or if I can control it by shifting my mindset + putting things into perspective.
Most of the time, a simple shift in perspective + feeding my mind with positive thoughts makes ALL the difference. Instead of getting blinded + lost in the guilt, I find myself & fight to keep myself grounded.
It’s a simple formula that works, yet so many of us struggle with it. If you do too, I want you to know you’re not alone. But truth is, the guilt won’t go away if you don’t fight it.