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Banishing Guilt

Over the past several days I entertained the haunting whispers of guilt. Guilt from not being with my son as much I used to (when I stayed home instead of working); guilt from not cooking that much (as we’ve been buying premade food recently, running around); guilt from not following up with certain friends. These are the things that get to me. However, I refuse to back down on pursuing my passion. There are different seasons in the journey. Some are busier than others and we need to listen to our bodies and our Creator to decide when to rest more and when to push ourselves. While I certainly struggle with pursuing it at times, deep down I know it is what I need to do. My Creator told me so.

My issue is that I easily point the finger at myself, always expecting more, aware that I can do better. But as I’ve learned over the past couple of years, I will never be perfect; not even close. To expect unreasonable results—treating my mind and body like a machine—is to set myself up for constant failure, triggering a continual cycle of disappointment, fear and eventually, hopelessness. If anyone else even utters a word that I can grab a hold of to inflict more guilt, it is extra ammunition to torture myself with, unbeknownst to the person who made the comment.

Aware of the lies that knock around in my mind, it is clear to which thoughts I must banish, allowing my Creator to help me, give me peace. Once I take this crucial step, guilt begins to melt away, leaving me wondering if it was ever really there in the first place. Thank God for making me aware of this harmful sequence that I experienced constantly for years, so that I am now certain of where I’ve been and where I am today, thankful for His deliverance.

As an artist, how can we be open enough to create freely when riddled with guilt—guilt from taking some time away from our family, work, friends and other activities to pursue our path? We can’t. Guilt must be felt—as giving ourselves permission to feel emotions is vital to an artist and any human being—but then banished, as we recognize its toxic nature and disdain for creativity. We have to remember that guilt, fear, shame—all of it—hate our imaginations because creativity originated from our Creator.

Do you struggle with guilt as you pursue your passion or art? When does it hit you? Why? What do you do to combat it?

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10 thoughts on “Banishing Guilt

  1. sammiebennett on said:

    “Guilt must be felt—as giving ourselves permission to feel emotions is vital to an artist and any human being—but then banished, as we recognize its toxic nature and disdain for creativity.” Um…. YES!!!!!! Ah, Crystal Lou, how I love this so very much. So, so much! In answer to your question, yes, I can struggle with guilt as I move forward with my book. I think that I feel it most with housework stuff. So silly, right? I seriously beat myself up for not vacuuming, dusting, swiffering, all that stuff, more. And yeah, I can feel it in the cooking department too. What do I do to combat it? Think on grace. I don’t always do this right away, but when I do, when I think about how much God loves me just for being, not for doing ANYTHING, I free myself up from performance crap. Thanks for this, love.

    • Yes, Sammie! As I have shared with you in the past, I am thankful that I can knowingly feel these emotions and thoughts yet be more aware of them, and know to go to Him more quickly. Instead of being lost in lies as I was before…I’m glad I’m not the only one who feel “guilty” sometimes from this silly stuff, but we don’t need to! I know. Grace and His love trump everything else. You said it! Love.

  2. Guilt…I question a couple things here…God says we are to live life and live it abundantly. Guilt is not abundant living…He wants us to live in peace, joy, happiness. Guilt is a tool of the enemy to paralyze us from doing the work God has called us to do. If we want to “feel” and give ourselves permission to feel, I would rather feel excitement, creativity, hope, life and much more. People find themselves in oppression and depression because they take in the guilt, wallow in it and allow it to manifest in something greater. In Christ there is freedom, not guilt.

    • I totally agree with you, DeGraw Ministries (what’s your name?). However, for years I was eaten up with lies in my head, many times overtaken by unhealthy emotions (fear, guilt, letting people walk over any boundary, etc.) and now I finally received the gift of allowing emotions to present themselves and then go to God. If I deny myself the feeling to confront it, then I am only “stuffing” or “masking” it. There is a difference between that and wallowing in unhealthy emotions, which is why I try to tell people that right after I say “allow yourself the right to your emotions”. God wants us to come to Him for everything! He helped me through my guilt pangs this past week–so thankful for that!

      in Christ there is freedom, peace, love and what I have found to be my right to be human. I’m not perfect and allowing myself to confront the lies/thoughts, emotions, etc. that can haunt me in His perfect grace is the ONLY thing which sets me free. Amen. Thanks for reading.

  3. Heather Ostalkiewicz on said:

    I struggle feeling like the everyday stuff, the stuff that keeps my family going or brings in the money is more important. But God has been trying to refocus my vision by showing me the big picture, what is really going to matter at the end of my life and surprisingly dirty dishes don’t come up!

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