Grace conquers Guilt

I walked past my hanging basket today, same as every day; but today I noticed a couple of runners had branched out, I’m not sure when they grew, they just did.

I like to set goals, but I often find I can’t find the balance between expected deadline, realistic energy stock, too many causing overwhelm, too little causing boredom.

I am not someone with a routine life. I do not get up at the same time every day, I do not come home at the same time. I often have evenings booked up. This is my life, I like it this way; mostly. Oddly, however, I do require and relish routine. I work well with it, as long as I can change it from time to time.

I also struggle with internal guilt. I feel bad, when I don’t keep to a routine, or when I don’t meet my goals. Yet guilt is not a motivator. Guilt makes me want to hide, make excuses. Guilt lies to me and then brings it’s friend shame along for a party.

This wasn’t what I had planned to write about.

June was a mess. When I opened my diary it was full of tippex, strike-throughs, and highlights. FULL. I knew as I sat, at the end of May, that June was not going to be a month where I could set any particular goals or have much of a routine.

[June is where my work calendar changes. For 6 weeks, I do the same thing over and over again, say the same words, tell the same stories. Doing the same in my life, telling myself to keep to the same routine day in day out, would have drained me of any last pieces of energy. I do the work because I love it. I wouldn’t change it, but the rebel in me needs to not set too many goals or routines in this month to maintain balance and keep guilt at bay.]

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There was more to June than work though. June was a month where I found myself on stage in a Murder Mystery for three nights (ambushed by my work colleagues on the final night!), being part of Canterbury Community Gospel Choirs first ever concert (incredible!), running four social media accounts and somewhere in between needing to fit a 10Km walk (you can sponsor me here)

photo of woman wearing pink sports shoes walking

I chose not to set any goals, except to get through to this end week! To my surprise my diary ‘inspirational quite’ for June was to ‘Live every Moment’. Instead of setting goals, I just focussed on each day and getting what was needed for that day done.  If I needed sleep due to lack of energy I slept, if I needed to say no I said no, If I needed a glass of wine and a friend who would check my lines with me, I said yes! (- thanks B!)

one foot in front of the other

Rather than ending in a pool of guilt, it’s taught me, that I can combat the internal lies that guilt spins for me. Jesus has set me free from guilt and yet I still allow it to tell me, I should be better, do more, achieve more. It still points out how others manage, adding gloss to the highlight reel of their life, telling me they have no issues in their own life, no guilt of their own. This is not true guilt, this is an imposter, wearing the mask of my former self, falsely accusing me, and telling me I am not enough.

It’s not true and I’m not listening to it. More than that, I know the remedy and it’s the same remedy as it has always been. Grace. As I face this week, with everything completed, and yet still more to come; I face it with grace.

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July will have some guilt free, grace-motivated goals!

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