There Are Two Types Of Guilt, But You Shouldn’t Live With Either

woman wearing black long-sleeved top
Jose Ros Photo / Unsplash

I’ve been staring at my computer screen for a solid ten minutes now. I have this secret. And I need to tell someone. I need to fucking tell someone before my brain explodes. But as much as I would love to confess this secret to you all, I’d rather not share this classified information on the fabulous world wide web.

So, I guess I’m just going to talk in code.

About a month ago, I did this awful thing. After it happened I was in complete shock and disbelief. I had no words. No, I take that back. I had three words of choice: what the fuck. My heart was racing. My body was numb. I was filled with guilt. And regret. And guilt. And regret. I knew it was a mistake.

But, then.

It happened again.

Naturally, my first reaction was what other than my three favorite words: what the fuck. Again: guilt and regret and guilt and guilt and guilt and regret. I still knew it was a mistake. But there was a part of me that just kept wondering if I made this mistake twice, was it really a mistake?

So… like a week goes by.

Yeah, you guessed it. It happened again. And again. And again. And slowly I began to feel less guilty. But at the same time, I felt even guiltier for not feeling guilty.

Is any of this making sense?

But anyway, I hope you enjoyed that fucked up passage from the life of Mackenzie because that brings me to today’s topic:

Guilt.

Oh sweet, sweet guilt. Lucky for you. I am an expert in this field.

And if you have read any of my previous posts you’ll know that I strongly believe that we should never live with guilt. So I guess you can call me a fucking hypocrite. But just let me explain. I’m not living with guilt. I’m living with the guilt of not having guilt.

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked.

Guilt:

So you just started a diet. You spent days meal prepping. You created a workout schedule. Girl, you are so dedicated to this new and improved healthy lifestyle. But eight days into the diet, you see a warm chocolate chip cookie on your kitchen counter. You stare at the cookie: “I’ve been working my ass off at the gym, do I really want to fall right into this trap.” Long story short… you eat the cookie. You feel awful. You feel so GUILTY.

Guilt of Not Having Guilt:

Now at the same time, you’re glad you treated yourself. You crushed leg day. You sweat your ass off in morning pilates class. What’s the harm of one little cookie? You feel so GUILTY because you don’t feel guilty. You knew you shouldn’t have ate the cookie. You should feel guilty that you broke your new diet. But you don’t care. You enjoyed the sweet treat. In fact, you wanted another one.

I hope that cookie metaphor really cleared things up for you.

So to wrap this piece up. I will testify to the fact that there are indeed two types of guilt. But, they have one thing in common: they’re both temporary. Fuck ups are a part of life. Shit happens. Guilt happens. But you have to move on. Swimming circles in a sea of guilt is dangerous. You keep getting pulled out further and further until the shore is out of sight. And at this point, you’re trapped. Be brave and be strong and accept your guilt. Swim to land. Find freedom. Guilt is unavoidable. But living with this monster is quite the opposite.

Sometimes you get lost in the moment. The lust and magic of a moment. Or in this case the sweet and savory scent of a warm cookie. You have bad calls in judgment. But, what seems like a mistake one day, might be the best decision you’ve ever made. Life is all about risk. It’s all about taking a chance. Never sit back and accept your guilt. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it and move it. Your happiness is priority.

Oh yeah, BTW: always eat the cookie. You only live once. TC mark

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