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  • Writer's pictureDr. Dara

Dear anyone caught between Reality vs. Guilt,

There is a part of me that wants to post, send emails, reach out to people and be of value to the community to help heal and offer ways of thinking to balance wellness. There is another part of me that is perfectly content in my bubble- my own world (spoken from a native social distancer). Quite frankly, everyone wants to offer suggestions and be an expert. I don’t want to be one of “those” or like everyone else coming out of the gates like helping gangbusters how to be ok, when really some things are just NOT ok! I want to take this in stride and be in for the marathon and not just the sprint, personally and professionally keeping my shiFt together. You know living with integrity- practicing what I preach.

So, there is a conflict.

Truth be told, I always wanted the opportunity to stay home and just mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love my career and I am proud of my accomplishments, and well god knows I am all about the hustle and making shiFt happen. There is also this voice (not just in my head), literally people have said to me, “the community needs you now and will continue to need you, now is the time to put programs together and offer groups pro bono and/or have rates people can afford because so many are struggling and cannot even think about paying a psychologist”. Hell, so many have literally lost their jobs, insurance, and don’t even know how they will pay for their mortgage let a lone pay a shrink.

There was this idea that if I “only” stayed home and didn’t “want” to work, it meant I was weak, not ambitious, or lazy. Shoulding all over myself and thinking I should be doing more or better. Or feeling bad for not feeling bad! This pandemic seems like for ever, but when it is over, it will only be a bleep on the radar. I remember when I first had Elyah and Nevin not being able to imagine them as little humans talking and walking. Now, I am just blown away how fast 4 and 6 years has flown by.

That shoulding thing still sneaks in from time to time or the GUILT for not being miserable and stressed. I have to say, I am content at home and this paused space to re-assess and shiFt things in a different perspective is welcome. Yes, there is sadness for those that are lost and those suffering from Coronavirus. There is also fear for the unknown. What leaves me thinking is how I don’t think anyone who has died or fighting for their life COVID-19 has said, “I should have worked more, I should have had less fun, I should not have told so many people I loved them, I should have appreciated friends less, I should not have cared so much”.

The moral of the story is guilt is useless and shoulding all over yourself only brings more of what you don’t want to happen. It does not propel you to do better or more. The guilt of eating too much ice cream does not make you eat less of it, it makes you eat more. It becomes the forbidden fruit. Guilt is infectious and soars rancid in your body and soul eating away joy and suffocating your breath. Besides, you can’t change anything or go back in time and if you could wouldn’t it conflict with other circumstances and the stuff you like.

What do you want? What do you really want? Maybe you are too scared to acknowledge your true desires? Would they not fit in alignment with those around you? Maybe you are thinking how you just lost your job or how you don’t know how you will pay your bills. Well, WHAT DO YOU WANT? What if this is a time to re-write your story. What would be good to have happened?

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