A hand releases a butterfly, letting go

Let Guilt Go: Top 10 Edition

There’s often guilt I think on this journey for so many reasons. We all deal with so much and then place guilt on top of it and it doesn’t seem right at all. I have been on this journey so far for 42 months and I have experienced quite a bit of guilt in just everyday life. I have come to the conclusion that while some of it is very hard and extremely difficult that it must be something that I let go. I can’t control my current hand of cards, but I can certainly control my reaction.

A quote from Zig Ziglar says, "Fear has two meanings: Forget everything and run or face everything and rise. The choice is yours." Sometimes we have to fight ourselves to rise, but it can be done. Let’s get started:

1. Stay in bed

Some days when you are absolutely exhausted and just can’t lift your head to get out of bed - it is perfectly ok to stay there. Do not feel guilty for staying in bed. Our bodies need rest.

2. Pressure to prepare meals

Do not feel pressure to cook if you don’t feel like it. It is perfectly ok to order take-out for you and your family. Who cares if you just bought groceries and need to use the food in the fridge? Put your meats in the freezer and order the takeout. Fewer dishes and less energy spent in the kitchen. Try again tomorrow.

3. Cleaning your home

If you don’t feel like dragging out the mop, don’t. If picking up is all you can do, then pat yourself on the back and keep going. It is totally fine to let it go. If you need to call on someone to assist you whether it be a family member or a hired professional, that is just fine also.

4. Getting dressed

If you need to stay in your lounge clothes or pajamas all day long or maybe for a couple of days or more at a time, do not feel guilty about that. Just be comfortable and do what you feel like doing.

5. Family gatherings

It’s totally fine to say no to a family gathering. Do not feel guilty about not going to something where you have to pretend you are feeling good and are required to enter into forced conversations. It’s ok to say no.

6. Work life

If you have to cut back your work time or not work at all, do not feel guilty about it. It is a very difficult and extreme change, not to mention the financial aspect. Do not feel bad about making decisions that are best for your health and your family.

7. Time with children

When you are tired and you’ve been running to practices and games and car lines and homework and the list goes on, do not feel guilty when you just need to take a nap or fall asleep during the family movie night. Do not feel guilty if you buy the brownies for the class party instead of making them from scratch. You are doing great, mom and dad! Keep going.

8. Treat yourself

There are so many restrictions on this cancer journey and so many saying not to do this or that or not to eat this or that. Do not feel guilty for eating the ice cream. It’s completely fine to treat yourself with ice cream or your favorite indulgence. Eat the ice cream and the cake if you like.

9. Travel

If it is within reason and where you can, do not feel guilty for taking a trip. Don’t feel guilty about spending the money for the trip etc. Traveling allows us to make memories and we shouldn’t feel guilty about that at all.

10. Take care of you first

Often times we neglect ourselves to take care of our families. I think we shouldn’t feel guilty for taking care of ourselves first. We need special care sometimes. We shouldn’t feel guilty for needing to step away for some alone time or sitting outside in nature by ourselves. We shouldn’t feel guilty for listening to our bodies and allowing ourselves to have what we need at that moment. It’s not selfish. It’s self-care. Only we know how we feel.

Find what works best for your wellbeing

It’s so easy to feel guilty for so many more things not listed here. We somehow get into this comparison game of what others are doing and compare ourselves. Don’t compare yourself to what the rest of the world is doing - we aren’t the rest of the world. They don’t understand us.

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