Guilt and Gratitude

I am very fortunate.

I have parents that love me dearly. They provide me with so much to satisfy (and over satisfy!) my material, financial, educational, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. They want me to flourish and live a full life and share my gifts with the world.

The problem is…I feel guilty receiving all this from them.

They give me so much that I don’t deserve. Who am I to get all this support? I didn’t do anything to deserve this.

Here’s what I’m learning from life:

Life is energy. It has a flow. Giving and receiving is a part of that flow. My guilt in receiving all these blessings from my parents is resisting and blocking the flow of life, like a dam blocks the flow of water in a river.

What does this look like in my life?

Because I feel guilty receiving what my parents give, I feel guilty using it. I don’t fully use the support in ways that could really move the needle on my ability to give to the world. I think, not everyone is as fortunate as I am. So I play small. I don’t want to show off. I don’t want to flaunt my blessings, especially since I’ve done nothing to deserve these blessings and I see others struggling to get what is handed to me.

Because I feel guilty, I resist receiving. In resisting receiving, I resist giving. I block the flow of giving and receiving: my parents give to me so that I can give to others.

Because I feel guilty, others don’t receive what is mine to give.

How can I restore the flow of life?

It is more than just ‘stop feeling guilty’.

It’s gratitude.

If I practice gratitude while receiving, then the flow is not just restored, it is expanded. It is stronger because more and more people give.

If I can be grateful to receive blessings, then I can be open in giving what is mine to give. Then, if you gratefully receive what I give, you then give others more of what is yours to give. And so on.

For example, if my parents gave me money for education to help others, and I felt guilty receiving it, I may just keep the money and not use it. (The flow of life is blocked.)

But let’s say I was grateful for the gift. I used that money to get education on how to help others live a fuller, happier life. Then I shared that knowledge with you. You received it gratefully, your life is better and now your home is a place of peace that improves your son’s mental wellbeing and now he is able to focus on his dream to be a carpenter and build homes for other people. (The flow of life is stronger and continues to branch and give more and more to more and more people.

Guilt minimizes. Gratitude maximizes.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. For everything.

What are you receiving that you feel guilty about?

Where is guilt blocking the flow in your life?

Are you grateful to receive gifts from your parents? Your kids? Your friends? God?

Here’s to conquering stress.

With heart,

The Stress Experts

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