Tag Archives: guilt

Conflict, Boundaries and Guilt

Be Someone's Light (24 x 24)God, I used to hate conflict…boundary was not in my vocabulary….and NO ONE was better at guilting themselves than I was.  I was the Queen.

But, something happened this last year on my journey.   I kept attracting the same sort of people.  Victim-ish and vampirish.  AND, as you know, that means there were lessons there, once I became aware.  Mirror lessons.  Painful (but much needed) to see when I knew that I had exhibited that sort of behavior.

When I initially became aware of why the victim behavior affected me so much – I took it upon myself to write an insightful email to a friend who showed the same signs that I had – gently and carefully pointing out that I saw in her the same way of self-sabotaging herself that I had done in the past.  I loved her, a lot, and did not want to completely disengage from our relationship – which would have been the way I would have handled it in the past.

I set a gentle boundary – something that was very uncomfortable for me to do – after having grown up in a family where boundary was a four letter word.

I did it because her behavior made me uneasy when I realized it was a deep pattern of mine – and I couldn’t stomach being faced with my own darkness.

It was essential that I started owning my own shit, so I started working with someone who could help me change those patterns.

Fast forward a few months…

Rinse and repeat.




This time, the boundary was not so gentle.

I saw my darkness clearly, and needed distance, to not allow myself to fall back into that old way of thinking and interacting.

When one sets boundaries, there seems to be a bit of guilt (old patterning) attached to it.  As well as gaslighting oneself.  I went back and read all of my old emails to see if there was any “mean” in them.  Nope – only love and compassion – something that I would have like to have received from someone to help me in my past.

The final straw came….and a decision had to made.  Did I love myself enough to cut the person out of my life to protect my newly forming patterns?

Oh Lord – talk about a difficult decision.

Yes….was the intuitive answer.

I felt good.  Amazing, actually.

Enter in monkey mind with old programming.

I started feeling guilty….and when I worked through that, and the guilt left….I felt guilty for not feeling guilty.

It’s ok to put up boundaries, and take care of oneself.

In fact, it is essential.

Repeat after me


We are taught that they are bad.  We are taught to allow others to walk all over us.  Women, especially, are taught to be nice.  Don’t speak up.  Be the good girl.

But, I have to tell you….I do feel good…a bit sad for the loss of the friendship….but, pretty good overall.

May we walk together as one.


I feel guilty….really, really, guilty….

Le Poire Vert 24 x 20
Le Poire Vert 24 x 20

….because I am an artist.  Because I am an artist.  And baffled and mystified and confused.   Part of my job is to daydream, come up with new ideas, and to just be.  And I feel guilty about that.  I was raised  with a VERY Midwestern work ethic.  “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  Does that mean if I stay up late looking at artwork on the internet, wake up in the middle of the night with a blog idea and start writing it, sleep until 8 (gasp – I know, almost blasphemous!), leave my pj’s on all day, walk around the yard with my coffee listening to the birds, staring at the mountain, and thanking creator for my life, and then start painting/writing/working out or whatever – I won’t be “healthy, wealthy and wise”?

I feel guilty, because I don’t have a “schedule”.   Oh, I have a “things to do list” (that I don’t always get done – another source of guilt), ie, marketing, web updates, graphic design, taxes (yikes), more marketing, talking with galleries, and, if there is enough time, or I need to get back in touch with me, painting and writing.

I don’t “sit” much.   Actually, I really don’t take enough time to just sit and be – to be in the quiet and the inbetween spaces where all the ideas are.  I don’t, because I feel guilty.   Obviously, I need to start working on this, if I am really going to make this “art thing” work.   Strike that last comment.   I AM going to make this “art thing” work!   Because, as hard as I try to not “be” an artist or a creative person, because I feel guilty, since I am not the typically raised Midwestern sort of person, it all boils down to the fact that I AM an artist.   Period, end of story!

I feel guilty because I am different. Because I am fortunate (strike that one too!), because I divorced my husband, because I left my family, because I have done things that someone “normal” shouldn’t do.   I think and act differently.   I am odd.  I am strange.  I feel a bit freakish.  So was Georgia O’Keefe.  Hmmm…..and I have her listed as one of the people I most admire on Facebook.  Hmmm…..   And she was an artist.  A great artist.  Hmmm….

I am a square peg in a round hole.  I am the black sheep.  I am the odd woman out.  I am the one that wants to fit in and when I do, I wonder why I wanted to.  My son thinks I love being social – and I do, more than him, but in actuality, I LOVE being alone for the most part.  I love being the observer.   I love looking at the spaces in-between.  I kinda like (gasp) being odd.  Because that is who I am.   And so, I guess it means, that I am kinda, sorta, in a way, starting to like myself.

Perhaps I need to re-think this guilt thing, and just be thankful for who I am.  If Georgia did it, so can I….  Actually, even if Georgia didn’t do it, I can do it.   And by doing “it”, I mean, just being me.

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