When Guilt Kicks In

I’m not sure if you’ve all realized this, but there’s this thing called “real life” that some people like to pretend is all important and necessary and whatnot. It involves things like gainful employment, relatively tidy homes, timely bill payment, regular car maintenance, sometimes education and/or family life, exercise…and approximately one billion other somethings that are considered important.

If you have noticed, perhaps you’ve also noticed these things make us tired. Sometimes, they make us run wild.

Sometimes, we don’t create.

While you’re recovering your breath, I’ll just go on – catch up when you’re ready.

I have this – thing – where if I don’t fill every spare moment not already packed in with all the above activities and more with creative activity, in my case writing, I feel this immense guilt. Here I’ve been begging, borrowing, and stealing to type a few sentences here, draft an idea there, etc, and when I have free time I often just want to crash.

Watch tv. Eat junk food. Mostly nap.

Please tell me you feel this too, sometimes – the desire the desire to just find rest, and not have, be, or do much of anything at all.

But that guilt thing: it can just eat away at you. This, my friends, should not be.

Guilt is a creativity-sucker. It forces us to carve words on paper, layer paint on canvas, strap on the dance shoes even when our bones ache. Guilt does not create beauty.

Freedom does. When we remember creativity, and the expression thereof, is a beautiful gift, we suddenly find ourselves overflowing with all we need. (I’m also told being fully caught up on sleep can do the same thing, but this I must research further.)

We need to rest. We need to rejuvenate, dwell in the moment, soak in life, be at peace. Maybe we need to unplug for a bit and fill our souls with all that is life.

I still struggle with mad guilt when I find some free time and don’t immediately jump to writing, but I’m trying to learn to be accepting of the time my heart and soul need, away from ALL demands – because without that time, we drain ourselves dry and the things we bring to the world are desert wasteland instead of springs of water.

If I can fend it off, so can you. Certainly don’t let yourself slip down a path of doing nothing, being an empty consumer going from day to day with little thought to your life or anyone else’s. But also, remember – that life out there, the one with bills and jogging and work-a-day grind, those things all need your unique touch. So, too, does whatever special creation you bring to the world.

To be present in life, we must be willing to separate from it every now and then. Don’t let guilt tell you differently.


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