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Is Guilt Your Guide?

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We can all recall the teachings of the respected Jiminy Cricket as he advised us to let our heart be our guide. As ideal and simplistic as that sounds, realistically our heart often takes the backseat in our decision making as we timidly allow guilt to take the wheel.

I have friends who have stayed in relationships YEARS past the point they realized they needed a change. They stayed mainly because they didn't want to burn bridges with their partner, their partner's family, or cause a hurtful rift in general.

As graduation season embarks, there are couples everywhere who absolutely stress out about how they will afford to send monetary "Congrats" cards to all the graduates in their lives.

Wedding season is no different with many young people who already struggle to make ends meet having to scrounge up funding for shower gifts, bachelorette parties, dresses, and plane tickets. Not to mention coordinating weekend plans with the graduations mentioned above.

A gal pal of mine has signed up for not one, not two, but THREE marathons this season. All of which come with a hefty fundraising goal she has to match or pay out of pocket. She simply couldn't say, "no" when approached to participate in each worthy race.

At the end of each check-out process we are greeted with, "Would you like to donate $1 to homeless pets?" or "Would you like to donate funds to veterans?" flashing before us before we enter our debit card information.

Couples lose sanity as they take on the entire neighborhood population of kids 12 and under in their backyard because they couldn't say "no" to their children's playmates.

This just scratches the surface of various situations that present themselves in our life. All are honorable and selfless. But just because each action is noble, doesn't mean if we say, "no" we oppose the mission.

Let's say you were asked to sky dive, board a plane to Italy, partake in a safari, and fly a kite today only. You probably would love to partake in several choices, however, since you don't have time to conquer them all, you have to be selective. You may even decide none of the activities strike your fancy and opt out completely. Perhaps you find yourself tempted to undergo flying a kite simply because you only have time for that activity. But do you even like kites? Regardless which task you decided to embark upon, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I genuinely want to do this?
2. If yes, you were blessed with a desired opportunity today. If no, then don't do it!

It's truly as simple as that. There is a difference in being selfish and being genuine with your intentions. If you really want to analyze your moral compass, when you take on endeavors out of guilt, you are being dishonest with your motives, which in itself is worse than simply being true to yourself and saying you choose to use your time, services, or funds elsewhere.

If guilt is your guide you essentially take a detour versus your heart's scenic and direct drive. Guilt is fueled by fear. Save miles of frustrating terrain by selecting pure grade intentions and opportunities!

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