Guilt trips are no fun.
So why do we put ourselves through it over and over again? Why do we let it last longer than it should? How can we turn these mindless excursions into a mindful journey?
I’ve learned that “one magic word” holds the key to it all.
And here’s the messy and guilty way I learned that word: I’ve got a hot thing for curries. So when dinner was served at an Indian Wedding last Saturday, the 8 different curries looked like heaven on a platter!
Since the dishes were set on a rotating plate, I scooped each type of curry on mom’s plate and mine as fast as I could, “so others could get their turn” I reasoned to myself. But deep down, I knew I was just kidding myself. I was anxious and eager to get a helping of every type of curry, before it ran out! And you know, it’s totally fine to love curry that much. But when we make up false stories to deny our truth, we feel guilty.
And when we feel guilty about something, sometimes it seems easier to pretend it never happened. But I assure you, that’s the way a guilt-trip lasts longer. It’s best to face it.
Meanwhile, huge drops of curry were splattered all over the table like a bloody crime scene screaming for attention from everyone. I cringed at the messy sight, threw a paper napkin over it, and kept on eating.
Out of sight, out of mind.
The next day, and the day after, and the day after, I couldn’t forget that messy scene! 3 whole days agonizing over my ‘table manners’ is no fun.
This really, really annoyed me.
What happened to being comfortable in my own skin? Or not needing people’s approval? Or not worrying about people’s opinion of me? Or being my own best friend? Why is my worst self-critic back in full force?!
Then the phrase “Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk” came to mind–with a twist.
The past few days, I’ve been trying to “Shhhhhhhhhhhhh” that scene out of my head. But no amount of shushing made my mind quiet. What you resist, persists! So tonight, I knew it’s not so much about “Don’t”, but trying to understand “WHY”. WHY am I ‘Crying’ Over Spilt Curry?
Why is the magic word.
The moment Why was asked, the answer came. I saw that my inner mirror was pointing out to me what my Impatience and “Greedy-Curry” self looked like. It was an honest look into ME and I didn’t like the picture at all! I’ve been moving up and UP, soaring through my journey of growth and self-love. All’s been good, all’s been great. Suddenly, crashing back to earth, getting in touch with my “imperfect” self freaked me out!
But the running ends here now. I am choosing to face up to some painful truths about myself. And I am choosing to LOVE me where I am, FORGIVE me for my imperfections and LEARN from me. This was the whole point of the “inner nagging”. It was pulling me to pay attention to something I denied existed. And the moment I stopped still long enough to see into me, the mindless guilt-trip excursions turned into a meaningful journey.
I am learning that it’s okay to be imperfect. The lesson is not to deny our imperfections! And on a lighter side, to trust there is enough curry for everyone. There’s no need to rush. Stay calm, and enjoy the curry!
Instead of tripping ourselves up over the million “should’ves, could’ves, would’ves”, can we stop to understand Why we did what we did? Remember, “Why” is the magic word. And after learning the lesson, can we practice self-love, forgive ourselves, and let ourselves go? Our inner struggles are basically invitations to stop struggling, stay still, be calm, get clear, and choose again.
“The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love.” – Julia Cameron
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