I feel guilty when I’m away from my family. I have felt guilty for taking a slow shower or giving myself an hour to get ready. For me, guilt has become the “white elephant” in the room. In my subconscious, I have created some unrealistic expectations of what motherhood is. As a child when I fell and got hurt I usually blamed someone else and then held a grudge. I believed it wasn’t my responsibility and that someone else should have been watching me.

Now, as a parent and because of the grudges I held as a child, I find myself a guilt filled mother who can’t seem to take a shower in peace. I feel like it’s my responsibility to be the buffer for every adversity my children face. For example, last week my daughter fell at school, and I got upset because I wasn’t there to help her. In reality, I realized I must learn to let go.

I recognize that most of my guilt programs can be traced back to my childhood grudges. I must learn to accept and move away from my past. I must also accept that my children will experience pain. This thought is a challenge for me. I’m slowly learning to let go of my fear and allow my children to learn for themselves.

In my quest for a successful career, great health, financial well-being and a happy life, I often find myself on the short end. I feel like I’m waiting for a “magic bullet” to pop out of nowhere and propel me toward a guilt-free, limitless life. I’ll just wait for the “magic bullet.”

As I write this, I’m finding myself feeling guilty for not smothering my children with love and attention. Has guilt become an avoidance strategy? Is it rational to think that my children need me to such a degree that I cannot take a shower, workout, build my business or participate in other worldly pleasures? Certainly I shouldn’t have to wait until they graduate?

I recently made the decision to focus on what is causing me to feel guilty, and I realize I must stop waiting for permission. Guilt has become my avoidance strategy. I’m aware that my feeling of guilt may still be a distraction as I work my way toward my goals and dreams. I will address it when it comes up.

At times, I realize I wait for permission to live my life and with this awareness comes a sense of relief. I have begun giving myself permission to be happy. I’m surprised by the blessings that lie on the other side of guilt.

Crystal Horton is the author of “Stretch Marks, A Mother’s Journey To Awareness.”

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John Page Burton, Author of Knowing Sh#t from Shinola & Bestselling Author of Wisdom Through Failure  Blog Article:The Truth About Magic Bullets