Choose: Guilt or Regret?

Well, well, well, here we are! Finally it’s 2021! A new year with new hopes, new dreams, and a WTF, is happening in the US!?”

We can’t get a break, can we?

There was this little glimpse of hope – this dream – that with January 1st of 2021, everything will be better again.

And, by the gods, it would be amazing if we could just turn this nasty virus off and get rid of a certain racist human being, wouldn’t it?

BUT I don’t want to keep complaining or talking about Covid or the US hell. Not for now. It’s been such a huge topic in the last year, weeks, and days. We need a new topic.

Something different …

That’s why I want to talk about something personal that I’ve been struggling with for quite some time. And maybe my random thoughts on this new topic might inspire you in some way.

Or it might just distract you from the thing that shall not be named. 😉

Let’s talk about guilt and regret

Oh yeah, I know. Great topic, right? (*sarcasm*)

I don’t know about you but I realised that I feel guilty about a lot of things. Actually, I feel guilty all the time.

I feel guilty when I don’t spend enough time with my friends or I need to cancel meet-ups with them.

I feel guilty when I don’t call back my grandparents right away.

I feel guilty when I forget little things my friends, family, or colleagues told me.

I feel guilty when I don’t feel like spending time with anyone and just want to be alone in my room.

I feel guilty when I don’t make someone else feel welcome or appreciated.

I feel guilty when I don’t react accordingly to good or bad news.

I feel guilty when I say “no” to things I normally might say “yes”.

I feel guilty because I don’t seem to care about my family enough …

The list could go on and on.

You might see the typical pattern of a “people pleaser” here. Someone who does everything to please others. Even push away their own boundaries and give more than and more and more, until there’s nothing left to give.

Hi, my name is Jule and I’m a people pleaser who’s struggling with boundaries and guilt.

Growing up as a people pleaser

Growing up, I took on a lot of responsibility. I’ve always looked out for others and supported my family and friends emotionally, physically, and mentally.

I was the one who listened to their problems and issues while never mentioning mine.

I was the one who would always be there as a shoulder to cry on while I would break before I’d show any tears.

I would do anything to please others. I wanted to please others because then I felt like they need me.

And if they need me, they also love me, right?

Geez! I mean, reading that now it just hurts me how low my self-esteem and respect was. I mean, how could I love myself so little?

Thank the gods, this changed! Or is changing … sometimes I still do fall back into this old pattern. But hey, I’m working on it. 🙂

The last time I felt like falling back into the “people pleaser” was on Christmas with my family. I could feel it nagging inside of me, wanting to burst out, and rush to support all around me with all I got.

But I resisted. And then it came … this nasty feeling:

GUILT.

Do you want to feel guilt or regret?

I stopped myself and observed the feelings I had in that moment. I felt awful not running to the rescue of this one family member. And I felt even more horrible because I thought that this family member was in such a terrible situation because I wasn’t there. Because I didn’t take care of them.

Guilt pushed through my body and I just wanted to vomit because it was such a strong reaction. I felt physically ill because I didn’t please this family member in that moment.

WHAT THE FUCK!? Seriously?!

Honestly, I also was really fascinated that I had such a physical reaction to it. But then I started to question myself:

Do you really think you could have changed anything because you stayed with your family instead of pursuing your dream?

Would it be really better if you’re still in your small town and feeling regret because you never left and tried to make it?

Can you live with this feeling of guilt? Or do you choose regret and start to please your family again?

I kept thinking if I wanted to live with guilt or regret because I knew I needed to choose one of them. Until maybe one day I’d learn to be free from any of them. But since then, I know what I’d choose.

I choose guilt.

Because I can live with guilt while pursuing my dreams and career instead of taking care of my family.

But I can’t live with the “what if” or “if only”. I can’t live with the regret of knowing I didn’t give it all and I didn’t try to live my life the fullest.

I couldn’t stay in the shadow of my family, waiting to be seen and heard.

“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.”

― Shannon L. Alder

So, my dear reader, be brave and go out there. Do your thing and create the life you want without trying to please others.

Your silent supporter,

Jule


Similar articles you might enjoy reading:

Against All Odds – An inspirational journey

Tattooed on my body: Things to remember

One thought on “Choose: Guilt or Regret?

  1. I empathise so hard with all of this it hurts. As someone living an entire OCEAN and CONTINENT away from their ageing parents, guilt is the monster under my bed that I have to whack over the head every night in order to fall asleep. Thanks for sharing! And great read.

    Like

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