by Britt Crowe
I was raised Catholic so the subject of guilt is something I'm very familiar with. Though that is best discussed at another time, I would challenge people to take a look at what kinds of things you really should be feeling guilty for.
If you made a list of things you enjoy doing, what would it consist of? How often do you do them? Why do you like those activities? Do you take time out of your schedule to do them? Or do you put them last on your agenda? Guilt insinuates that some of the things we enjoy doing that aren't "necessary" are things we should feel bad about participating in. But participating in things we enjoy is very crucial to having a balanced life.
If you don't have things that make you happy, even if they are small, what would life be like?
Putting a "guilty" label on the seemingly "unnecessary things" that we like doing can make it difficult to enjoy them and that can become a risky area. For example, many people have different foods they eat as their "guilty pleasures". If you feel constantly guilty about eating these types of food, you can form a disordered view on those foods, thus taking away the joy and possibly encourage a pattern of binging instead of enjoying the food occasionally in healthy doses. Playing a video game or watching a show can no longer be a relaxing way to wind down if you see it as something you should feel guilty about.
Just the same as if you were to place extreme limits on treats with children, an obsession can form due to the lack of balance in being able to enjoy an occasional treat. Sometimes this can cause obsessive behavior and binge eating when the child finally gets to have the elusive treat.
There are many things that we do in life that can be mundane and required. Life needs a good balance of choices that we can make for ourselves because when we have the option to chose what we do in between our required responsibilities, we stay human and happy. If we are constantly following a routine of adult chores and activities, where do we have the chance to grow?
You can have that cake and eat it too.