Guilt Trip

When I was in my 30’s and I began to notice how people would try to guilt me into doing things, so I came up with this catchy phrase that has saved me many times from doing things I don’t want to do, “I didn’t pack for a guilt trip, so I’m not taking one.” I’ve never had to repeat this saying to the same person more than once. Even though it’s only 12 words…well, actually 10 words and two vowels, it tends to say so much more than what it says. How about, “I’m on to you,” or “I see you.” In some cases it even says, “You have been getting away with this for years now.” I’m telling you, these 10 words and two vowels said with the right tone of voice can stop a manipulator dead in their tracks.

Oh, but wait…what about the guilt trips we take ourselves on? I’m not talking about the guilt we feel when we’ve violated our moral compass and we have to seek forgiveness from a higher power. (Psalms 51:7) I’m talking about the guilt trips we take ourselves on because we feel we have to be perfect or we’ve only completed 98 things on our “to do” list instead of 99. What about the heavy baggage we carry from our childhood image of ourselves that often resurfaces on any given day that takes us back to feeling like we are 8 years old on the playground looking for acceptance and feeling powerless? What tone of voice do we use then? Do we use the same 10 words and 2 vowels? It’s funny how we will very carefully pack our luggage for a plane ride, making sure not to exceed the 50 pound limit and yet we carry the heavy weight of self-guilt many times through-out the day. So, what catchy phrase have I come up with to check myself, or to see myself clearly?

Okay…so here it is, in a very loving and nurturing tone voice, “I love you too much to burden you with the heavy baggage of guilt. Leave it behind and let forgiveness lighten your load. Focus on what you have accomplished today and feel good about that. Remember you don’t have to be perfect or wear and “S” on your chest, you just have to be you. You’re no longer a powerless little girl showing up on the playground looking for acceptance, you’re a grown woman who owns the playground and you get to decide who can come in and play. Even though these thoughts make you feel strong and powerful, you didn’t pack for a guilt trip, so don’t take one.” So I say ladies…know when you’re picking up the heavy burden of guilt and consciously let it go!

So ladies…how much is your guilt trip costing you? How do you let go of the guilt associated with caring for yourself?

45 thoughts on “Guilt Trip”

  1. a word that only contains 5 letters can carry a heavy load or burden. GUILT. Most of us have experienced the disappointing feelings that come with guilt. But, when dealing with others and with relationships- people often just don’t know how to just ask for what they need so they go to something that may work for them. It seems like it can be a form of manipulation-a behavior that can start very early on in life. The reality is just like you don’t know how to ask for what you want I can’t give you something I don’t have – and GUILT will not make me respond any differently. If I can help you I will or I’ll try to point you in the direction that I think might work. BUT, I’ve never been a fan of that whole guilt trip approach. That’s a road you will travel alone when dealing with me -I cannot join anyone on that road.

  2. I’m in my early 30’s and I constantly feel guilty. I always feel like am not doing enough to please anyone around me. It’s time to let go of guilt and regret, and just give myself a little credit. Your post is very refreshing as always! Which I could make it on the 28th, but I’ve got clinical on that Saturday. I look forward to another opportunity. Reading your post always makes me feel better! Once again, thanks for sharing your experiences with me!

    1. Awwww…thank you Kemi. I remember those feelings. Take time to list all of the things you accomplished in a day. You will be surprised. When are children are young we tend to focus on the long list of chores that we didn’t get to. Those are not the things your kids will remember when they are older. They will remember your hard work, the time you spent with them and your love for our Heavenly Father. Give yourself credit! Let go of the guilt and lighten your load. Love you!

  3. I feel like you’re reading pages out of my life. It’s refreshing to hear you and other people with a similar experience. As a young woman I was riddled with guilt from myself and others. It took me a long time to free myself and a constant work because people will try to take you there. I simply respond to them when they want to send me on a guilt trip with a serious look and tell them “not today or tomorrow”. I too have not had to use this phrase anymore. I needed to remind myself everyday “no guilt trips today” so I put it as my wallpaper on my phone so it was the first thing I saw when they called. Now I have flowers. lol. Just recently I was sharing with people about my upcoming mother/daughter trip to the Dominican Republic and some people were happy that we’re getting away. But other people would respond with “why didn’t you ask me”. I guess they didn’t really understand the concept of mother/daughter trip. So I smile and respond, well, if you want to travel with me, plan it and I’m there. I learned how to set boundaries and it feels good. So I keep smiling and keep it moving.

    1. It’s funny how many women share a common bond. I just wanted to create a space for women to share their life experiences and their knowledge and wisdom. I love how you used your cell phone as a daily reminder to not carry the burden of guilt. Once you released the burden of guilt, you were able to plant the seeds for flowers to grow on your phone and in your heart;-) That is so awesome Sheila! Great response to “why didn’t you ask me?” Enjoy your mother daughter trip and I’m sure your luggage was under 50lbs. See you soon my Shero! Thanks for your love and support.

  4. I love it. the “Guilt Trip” did you have me in mind while posting this blog. I now feel guilty, because I’m reading your blog without my brewed coffee.


    1. No guilt trip here my friend. There is no right or wrong way to read this blog…it just is. This is a judgment free zone. Hopefully it warms your heart and starts the brewing process from within. See you soon my friend;-) Thank you for your love and support.

  5. Guilt was always all over my face but no more but when i relfect on our conversation about when i needed to fill up i kept my head up and it feels real good.

    1. Awwww…that is wonderful! Guilt can sometimes cause us to hang our heads for way too long. Once we shed it, we have a brighter perspective and feel so much lighter internally. Thank you for sharing;-)

  6. Wow you have definitely given me food for thought. I think guilt really does come in so many forms, we may not even realize its there! Wonderful words of insight! I look forward to the next cup 🙂

    1. So true, guilt does come in many forms and we carry it without knowledge. Sometimes it isn’t until we put it aside in one area of our life that we realize there is a lighter side to acknowledging that we need to improve in an area without always carrying the heavy burden of guilt. The next cup is right around the corner. Monday is just a few days away;-)

  7. Most of us have been carrying guilt for so long that we just don’t know how to set it down. And may not even know life without it..But what a great start in throwing it down by remembering and applying those 12 beautiful words. Thanking so much for sharing.

    1. My pleasure…Guilt is very heavy and if I can help one person lighten their load and leave that weight behind I’m willing to share my story. Thank you for your love and support my friend.

  8. Sometimes it’s hard to set limits but when you do set limits people know where you stand. I have tried many times to set limits gently and they have ran over me but now that I am sticking to my guns and not real guns but sticking to my limits, people know that they cannot just run over me. I care for myself first and i can cut those out who choose not to respect my limits or avoid them. When people push over your limits they cause you stress.

    1. So true my friend. Setting boundaries is essential to healthy relationships. I still believe Aretha Franklin said it best, “RESPECT, find out what it means to me.” Sometimes we have to go internally to answer that question for ourselves first and then we can let others know. Once we’re at peace with respecting ourselves enough to say, “I need to take care of me so I can take care of others,” we can put the guns away…LOL Love you Keeshi…thank you for your support.

      1. Your welcome! I love to hear a different view on a subject. When you are in the middle of the problem it’s hard to see any other view but your own, but when you read someone elses it gives you a different perspective of that problem. Thanks for sharing

        1. My pleasure…I’m so pleased to have such a large group of women sharing their perspective on this blog. It presents an opportunity for all of us to learn and grow from one another. (Proverbs 27:17) It’s like a shot of espresso. Enjoy!

  9. You are so insightful. Your words inspire me to look at myself and re-evaluate some things. Realizing that I don’t have to complete every single thing on my to do list, but I should have a productive day. I am flying lighter these days and living a guilt free life. Thank you for ALWAYS giving of yourself.

    1. You’re welcome Roz! It is a pleasure to see your transformation. It nice to know you’ve put down the heavy burden of guilt and picked up those fashionable hand bags and scarfs. Keep brewing my friend…something beautiful is coming through the filter. Love you!

  10. Time would fail me, and I would be weighted down if I entertained “GUILT” in any way, form, or fashion (aint nobody got time for that). So, I decided play off the word guilt, and think of words that I could spend a long time with, and be uplifted at the same time. Here are my GUILTLESS WORDS, and the list keeps growing:

  11. Beautifully written and a great wake up call. I too often carry guilt when I am not able to do the things I used to due to health problems. So thanks for the great words of wisdom

    1. You’re very welcome. It’s not always easy to accept our limitations. As I get older I don’t have the stamina I used to have and we often find it difficult to accept our limitations. Guilt can be like a stop sign on the road to acceptance. We can either stop and think about a new direction to take or we can plow right through it and and stay on the same road. I’ve chosen to turn the corner and leave the guilt behind. Join me my friend. Love you;-)

  12. CATHY, FOLLOW YOUR Ministry. You are truly gifted with the spoken word. So proud of you. Be blessed and encouraged.

    1. Thank you Verna…I will continue in my ministry. It is a joy to use my gift to honor my Heavenly Father. (1 Corinthians 7:7) Hope to see you soon.

  13. Initially my guilt came from wanting to be accepted as a young girl. In my adult life it certainly continued as a result of putting a lot of pressure on myself to please those that I love And wanting to be reliable. Working full time, being a new wife, a grandmother of 2, and mother of 2, and having a desire to help in other family and friend areas, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in a day or week to do all that it takes to satisfy the needs and wants of everybody. So the guilt I feel comes from so many directions! As I am learning to create boundaries and establish a little time for everybody, it doesn’t feel good yet to say no or I need to rest but It’s getting easier. Thank u for always giving great insight and validating our feelings as women that it’s ok and good for us to say no sometimes! Caring for Ourselves makes it possible to care for others.

    1. Thank you Kiki for being so open. What a healing environment this is turning out to be. I’m so pleased to hear you’re learning to establish boundaries. It’s not easy at first and sometimes it’s how we view the boundaries internally. So think of your two beautiful grandchildren…when they first began to walk you no doubt set boundaries, maybe a little gate in front of the stairs, so they would not fall down the steps. Those boundaries kept them safe. When we set boundaries for ourselves, it keeps us safe emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually depending on how we spend our down time. Boundaries are good. Think about the boundaries our Heavenly Father set for the ocean…without them we would all drown. So when you feel like you’re drowning in other people’s stuff…remember the beautiful boundaries that began at the seashore;-) Love you!

  14. I definitely carry guilt every second of everyday. It’s sad but true. Somethings I’ve let go but in those quiet moments when it’s just me and my thoughts, let’s just say it isn’t pleasant. I’m learning to quiet the voices (no those kinds) and place them in a corner. It’s a struggle to get through those times but once I pray I feel so much better. Thanks Cathy

    1. I feel so honored that you share your feelings in this non-judgement zone. When I read your response I immediately thought about the psalmist King David who felt the same way as you. Psalms 94:19. The next time you’re in that space…please take a peak at this scripture. It’s comforting to know that people in the bible felt the same way as we do today, and our Heavenly Father comforts them and he will do the same today. Where would we be without His love and support and each other. Thank you for sharing what’s brewing inside of you;-) I cherish your thoughts.

  15. Ok so I’ve recognized my tendency to carry guilt, and I know the source ‘me’….from wanting to feel loved and accepted early in life, to making mistakes and trying hard to live up to unreasonable standards…I’m imperfect for goodness sakes. But trying to please other people while sacrificing my own happiness usually leaves me feeling unfulfilled and disappointed! I’m forever brewing, and missing out on some of the things that make me happy…I’m trying to (stop) and change my thinking, make choices that I wish to pursue without feeling guilty, it’s just not easy!!! Looking forward to hearing your tips for success…

    1. Thank you Tammy for your candor and vulnerability. It truly is a gift to my blog. I can so remember those feelings. It took a lot of self talk and taking time to nurture my soul and spirit. Once you’re able to put down the heavy baggage of guilt you recognize what a relief it is and you work hard not to pick it back up. I took to heart Jesus words, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I recognized that I was loving everyone but me. I had to learn to strike a balance. It takes constant effort, but the first step is the awareness and then coming up with a strategy to get rid of the constant feelings of guilt. It sounds like you’re there. I hope you can join us on the 28th for a deeper discussion into guilt free self-care.

  16. This is so true we have so many things that can burden us including ourselves this is very thought provoking and will make one think twice before they complete the negative they were intending to speak or the negative I would speak as well… Bravo!!!! Well said!

    1. Thank you Monique. It’s been said that, “you can’t have a negative thought without first having a negative emotion.” If we work hard to change our thinking and be more positive towards ourselves, the load we carry on a daily basis will feel much lighter. Thank you for sharing what’s brewing in your cup;-)

  17. As always, very nicely written! As I think on the people in my life who have taken me on those guilt trips, I can’t help but wonder how much better our relationship would have been if the manipulation wasn’t always present. Doing something for someone out of respect, trust and love is SO much more gratifiying!…..Setting the limits (gently) can be challenging but SO worth it.

    1. Thank you Cindy…Yes, setting limits can be very challenging, that’s why I loved that phrase. It is thought provoking and it sets limits or boundaries as to how much we’re willing to give. In the words of Aretha Franklin…”RESPECT find out what it means to me.” Chances are they won’t find out unless we tell them. When respect, love and trust are present the motivation will come from the heart and not the head. Giving out of guilt comes from the head, giving out of love comes from the heart. We’re leaving the guilt behind. Thank you for your willingness to be open and share. I so love hearing from my supportive community of baristas. See you soon!

  18. “Remember you don’t have to be perfect or wear and “S” on your chest, you just have to be you.” Was this written just for me?!?! It feels like it!

    I’m loving this blog, short but to the point that we all need to hear from time to time AND the reminder that if we don’t want to accept guilt from others, we shouldn’t make an acception and accept guilt from ourselves either! XO

    1. Awwww…thank you Lori. I’m so loving this blog too. I have so loved creating a space for women to share their thoughts and feelings. Yes, my dear the “S” on your chest…it was written just for you;-) I want you to feel that way. We as women work so hard and to have our feelings validated and to know we’re not the only one lightens our load. You can take off the “S” and move on to “T” for tired and give yourself permission to rest without guilt! The aroma coming from your cup is smooth;-) Thanks for sharing.

    2. Feeling guilty … Can be a positive word ONLY if it forces me to realize I need to make a change or improve me for the better. ( which is a good thing in the long run of things.) Feeling guilty … Can be a negative word if it stops me from learning from my mistake and prevents me from focusing on the improve LISA! —Romans 3:23 – says .. ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD! —- What an beautiful scripture for MANY reasons… 1.It FREES us from feeling guilty since we are reminded that we WILL fall short. 2. It reminds us to forgive others because there not going to be perfected either and perhaps being manipulative is their imperfection! All I KNOW is I will fail MANY TIMES, I am ALLOWED TO gain weight sometimes, eat cookies instead of grabbing for an apple, spell a word wrong that I OUGHT to know how to spell or hurt somebody that I DIDN’T mean to hurt – The ‘KEY” is to apologize, forgive others and myself and MOVE on!!!!— ” EVERYDAY is a NEW DAY with no mistakes in it and no guilt, starting FRESH!!!!!!!

      1. How beautiful Lisa…yes everyday is a new day. What a great way to look at guilt. I love how you mentioned the key is to apologize to others and even to ourselves. It all goes back to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Thank you for sharing and thank you for taking this journey with me. I love hearing from you.

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