Guilt around food, or in life?…
This is an emotion I feel daily about a variety of different things. I seem to feel guilty about everything.
- When I leave for work in the morning and see my two little fur children’s faces in the window as I drive away.
- If I get to work late or am running late for an appointment.
- When I don’t cook dinner and order take-out, I feel it in the sense of not cooking and eating food that isn’t the best for me.
- Wondering if I am a good daughter or friend.
- If I choose to watch a little tv and rest instead of work.
- If I relax on the weekends while my husband goes to the office to work.
- If I leave early from the office to work from home.
- If I spend money on something, I enjoy but think I should be saving it.
I could go on and on…
Whoof… that is so much guilt I am carrying around. I didn’t even realize it until I started writing it down. Daily guilt… whom am I kidding? I feel hourly guilt.
When I looked up the definition of guilt on dictionary.com, it read as this:
The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.
This is the feeling I am carrying around with me every day, several times a day? No wonder I have had stomach problems. 😉
When I think about guilt, I believe this is a common emotion we all carry. I may carry around a little more than others, but it’s still something we all feel. I believe that this emotion is judged based on what our pain points may be in life. For many people, food is a big trigger for guilt; I had a friend in the past who used to buy food that she knew wasn’t good for her and then throw it in the dumpster outside her building so she wouldn’t eat it. When I think of that example, it makes me feel sad for her. The guilt and shame she felt around food must have been excruciating. How many others have this same guilt and shame around food or about their daily actions and lives?
We are in a comparison culture, and maybe as humans, the comparison is innate. I don’t think we will ever be able to get rid of comparison. From social media to magazines or even our immediate circles, we continually compare ourselves to others. “This person has a better body, is skinnier, is more successful, is prettier, has the perfect family, is a better mother,” the list goes on and on. This form of comparison brings on a sense of guilt and expectations that we place on ourselves to be like the other people we see. We are not living in our most authentic selves. We look at what we “should” be doing, wanting, acting, etc.
I felt serene and guilt-free during the pandemic. Why? I should have been more anxious at this time. Ash had lost 30% of his employment income, I had lost my business, and we didn’t know what the future held. I was concerned and afraid for myself and others, but looking back, I understand that I felt so relieved because I no longer held myself to the standards I had been making for myself. Staying home was my only obligation. You know? I was my happiest and most creative. It inspired my food blog. It revived my cooking interest.
Looking at expectations and how they relate to guilt makes me realize they are sisters or even cousins. I have learned that you take away the guilt when you take away the expectations of how you “should” be. Without expectations, there is no guilt because you are doing what you want instead of what you think you should. Without expectations, you’re free just to be you! To live in the body you want to live in, consume the food you wish to, be in the job you truly desire, or live the life you have always dreamed of. Expectations start from a young age and follow us into adulthood. And like the annoying little brother or sister, guilt follows expectations, shackling you with these negative and joy-stripping emotions.
If we as a society could get away from expectations of ourselves, or others, we would be much happier. We could reduce and even eliminate our guilt and live in peace. When you live in peace is when all of the good things continue to blossom and grow!