Friday, September 14, 2018

Letting Go of Your Guilt When You Have a Chronic Illness

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Just seeing that word makes you feel guilty, doesn't it?

My particular brand of guilt includes things such as feeling guilty for:
  • Working or resting instead of spending time with my kids.
  • Not being able to keep the house cleaner because of a lack of spoons.
  • Making sandwiches for supper for the third time in a week because I'm too exhausted to cook.
  • Not being on top of everything all the time.
  • Feeling like I'm not doing enough.
  • Losing my patience and yelling at the kids.
  • Forgetting to take pictures or video at one of my kids' special events.
  • Passing my crappy genes onto my kids.
  • Not being able to go outside and play with my kids (thanks heat intolerance and POTS!)
  • Not being able to work more.
I even feel guilty for having guilt.  And don't even get me started about Mom Guilt.

Letting go of your guilt when you have a chronic illness

My guilt is compounded by the fact that my body seems to be working against me (during the times when it works at all).  Having chronic disorders such as Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and POTS comes with an extra heaping helping of guilt because, thanks to today's emphasis on perfection and being productive, I often feel like I'm not good enough or worth anything.

But what it really boils down to is that I feel guilty for not measuring up to the world's standards. 

Guess what though? That doesn't matter.  Instead I should be asking myself, "Do I measure up to God's standards?"

There's a difference between bad guilt and healthy guilt.  You read that right.  Yes, it's actually good to feel guilt sometimes!  Some of those things we feel guilty for are because God's giving us a little nudge.  Bad guilt is guilt that you impose on yourself because you don't feel like you're "good enough."  Healthy guilt is guilt that lets you know that you need to change something.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when you feel guilt to determine if it's bad or healthy.
  • Am I worried about what other people think about me?  
  • Am I doing something that goes against God's Word?
And going back to the guilt that is brought on by being chronically ill...that's caused by taking my focus off of what God says about me in the Bible.  God says that I am a child of God (I John 3:1-2), made in His image (Genesis 1:27), and created by Him (Psalms 139:13).  My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19) and God is focused on my heart rather than my physical body (I Samuel 16:7).

Letting go of the guilt when you have a chronic illness: @sunshineNspoons

God created me for a specific reason.  I may not be able to do everything that everyone else can do but I don't need to feel guilty for that because God has created me (and you!) to do what He has set for me to do.  As long as I'm fulfilling my purpose in God, nothing else matters, especially the world's yardstick.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

It's time to change your mindset.  Instead of feeling guilty each day for what you're doing or not doing,  focus your eyes on God.  Choose instead to live each day, each moment for Him alone.  Focus on the healthy guilt that encourages me to change to be more like Christ and stop focusing on how you don't measure up to what the world says you should be.

Are you ready to let go of the world's guilt?

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1 comment:

Thank you for your comment! I read and try to reply to every one :)