Sitting here with my broken foot has allowed me a lot of time to think.
I’ve been thinking about guilt and how so much of my life has been swaddled in guilt.
The last words I said to my dad when I was eight, and he was thirty-eight were: I hate you. Then he died. Just like that. I mean, there were a few hours in between where I jumped on a bed and my aunt babysat while paramedics tried to revive the life back into him but basically the time between those words and his death was minimal. I felt guilty.
All my life, my “go to” emotion is guilt. I take off from teaching and I feel guilty the whole night. I feel guilty for this or that.
It’s work for me to let go of guilt. It’s an old old deeply imbedded seed.
So, I’m laying around, pretty much immobilized because of my broken foot. And I’m bummed. I won’t lie to you. (Why would I? I’m a truth teller.)
I’m bummed, but get this – I feel oddly calm and present. You know why? For the first time, in a long time, I don’t feel like I SHOULD be doing something else, I SHOULD be somewhere else, that I have to go, go, go.
Because I can’t.
I truly cannot move right now so I have to be still. Normally, if I lay around with pajamas on, I feel guilty. I do it but I feel guilty about it. But right now I am freed of any guilt and I feel good about that. I have space to write and create, even though I am a little sad. What I realize, even though I already knew this obviously, is that guilt is a trap. It immobilized me way more than any broken foot could.
I am so tired of it. It keeps you from being here. It keeps us locked in a land of SHOULDS, and I SUCK.
When my foot heals, I will remember this moment of absolute freedom – this moment of knowing that the only possible place I can be is right here. Yes, I am forced (literally forced) to learn this knowledge the hard way but you reading this? You don’t have to break your foot to release yourself from the prison of guilt.
If you f*cking like something, like it. And be done with it.
The prisons we build for ourselves are far stronger than any casts on our feet.
So, I don’t feel guilty that I should be out enjoying this gorgeous sunny day.
I don’t feel guilty that I am not out exercising.
I don’t feel guilty that my hair is ten days unwashed.
I don’t feel guilty that I feel frustrated.
I don’t feel guilty that I am sitting all day.
I don’t fel guilty that I took a week off of work.
I hope you understand the freedom I am talking about here.
It took a broken foot for me. For you?
With my dirty hair, bad lighting, no makeup, boot on my broken foot, and a big ass glass of wine, I MADE you a video. I did IT in one take. Because that’s how I’m rolling right now. Free.
Jen will be leading a Manifestation Retreat in Ojai, California in May and a four day Labor Day retreat. All retreats are a combo of yoga/writing and for ALL levels. Read this Positively Positive post to understand what a Manifestation retreat is. Check out her site jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you (Dallas, NYC, Seattle, Atlanta etc,). Jen and bestselling author Emily Rapp will be leading another writing retreat to Vermont in October. Jen will be back in London for another workshop July 6 but book soon as the last one sold out fast with a long wait list!
image courtesy of Simplereminders.com