Guilt is a terrible thing. You don’t have to be Catholic to have it in spades. I was raised Lutheran and am currently a “none” and I have it big time. Whether it’s true guilt (“I did a bad thing”) or just generalized insecurity (I’m not doing better/working hard enough/a good enough person”) it can cause you to expend an awful lot of energy worrying when you could be using that energy for good.
I think guilt and the resulting stress is only getting worse in our continuing “do more with less” work environment. I don’t know anyone whose business has enough people to do the work, making everyone fall further behind, feeding that guilt machine.
Well I say enough! This week I realized I wasn’t going to make big deadline. I also realized the deadline was completely artificial. If I met it, a couple of items on the to do list would dovetail nicely. Nice, but not essential. So, in reality, making that deadline was no big deal.
Wow!!! For a few moments I understood what it was like to be stress free, guilt free, and worry free. It was amazing! I could truly experience and enjoy the present moment. It would be so great to have that be my default mental state, rather than the “oh crap, what now!?” feeling I generally experience.
Something I’ve realized – guilt is about the past and worry is about the future. If that is where you spend all your time you are missing out on the present, where the joy is. I choose joy . . . and that’s OK.