We all need self-compassion for our guilty pleasures. It is a little known fact that some part of us will always want to rebel against what is required of us. This is the part of us that wants to be free. The part that wants to jump on top of our desk, and scream out into the world, “I work for no one.” The part of us that wants to quit our jobs, and live on an island some place. The part of us that wants to throw our healthy diet food into the trash, and live a life of no consequence devouring of pizza, burgers, fries, and deserts that can only be described as decadent.
Unfortunately, if we lived this life every day we would probably be penniless, obese, and separated from the people we love most. Even wanting some part of this life makes us feel guilty. Because we cannot pursue it directly, we live it vicariously through others or in small moments. The former we find through trashy television or celebrities with extraordinary wealth (sometimes these two coincide). The latter we find in the mini or sometimes major sized candy bars we have hidden in our desks.
Like a small child pilfering cookies from the cookie jar, we hole up some place out of sight and we imbibe the trashy television, and consume our delicious deserts. It is understandable. Life is really hard. It can be very stressful, and we are required to push down our very real, natural needs to manage our boss’s agenda or our kid’s needs, and the part of us that suffers, resents this experience, and wishes to be free.
The guilty pleasures are our way of saying, “You don’t own me, world. I will still find a way to let all my desires reign free!” Of course, we are too civilized and responsible to let all of our desires be met, but we give ourselves the space to indulge them when we can.
Self-Compassion To Understand Guilty Pleasures
To start, it is important to bring self-compassion to this experience. We do have a lot of strain, and expectation placed on us by society and our families. It does take a toll on the body, the mind, and the heart, at times. We are in need of the ability to respond to this existential angst with action that helps us feel a little less shackled. And, sometimes to break these chains, we have to take our actions to an extreme, hopefully one that does not injure others.
If we are truly to give ourselves self-compassion though, it is important that we get a sense of when we are feeling restrained and oppressed by our responsibilities, and plan some course of action that fulfills our needs in a way that we can feel good about. The problem with guilty pleasures is that we enjoy them, but we also have to feel guilty about them. I do not know about you, but I do not want to feel like I have to work while I am enjoying something.
When you begin to feel encumbered, see if you can plan a trip, even if it is just a single day sojourn. See if you can stay with family or in a hotel that takes care of you for once. If you want to break your diet, pick one day of the week and eat something that is truly delicious rather than sneaking something every day that probably does not make you feel so great an hour after it has been digested.
Get a babysitter for the kids, and enjoy a night out with other adults. This may seem like privilege, but it is actually a necessity. You need to feel like you are getting enough pure joy and freedom to enjoy your life to recover from the week’s obligations and stressors. This will literally help repair the stresses experienced by your body and brain during the week. You must take this time to be fully present and able to the people who need you.
If these people doubt the importance of these plans, refer them to this post. This advice comes straight form the doctor. You are not dead. Your soul still has some living to do. You need to allow it to be completely free sometimes, and enjoy the things that make you truly happy without the censorship that comes with others’ needs. That said, avoid activities that would do irreparable harm to yourself and others. No killing people, and then announcing to the judge that it was the doctor’s orders. I will not be appearing at the court for you.
All joking aside, you do not need to be 18 again to enjoy the things you enjoyed at 18. Dress up. Go out and get food you enjoy with the people, who simply make you feel happy inside. Go bowling. Play pool. Go to the movies. Go out dancing. Who cares if you are tired the next day? You might have been tired from sleep problems anyway. All this to say, that it is never too late to make time to enjoy your life. Do so with the intention of bringing pure goodness to your life.
Work and family obligations will be easier, and you will have the space to even appreciate them if you take time for yourself. Resentment is the sneaky guy that hides in little frustrations, and eventually comes out once he has grown to monstrous proportions, and says or does things that hurt the people around you. Do not even give him a chance to grow. Acknowledge your needs. Plan for them. Let your inner child run wild a little bit. Get some well-deserved sleep, and then get back to your life feeling renewed.
365 Days Of Kindness. Self-Compassion. Day 122. In The Books.