Beliefnet
Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

What’s Your Guilty Pleasure? Is it eating chocolate? Watching reality shows? Pigging out on the weekend? Most people can identify something when asked that question. I used to have lots of guilty pleasures, until I realized that most pleasure shouldn’t make us feel guilty. Of course there’s a difference between something that’s a guilty pleasure and consistently doing things that are unhealthy for you or that hurt your efforts to have a good life.

Eating sugar laden foods several times a day or cutting into your work time to watch soap operas for three hours every afternoon or eating too much at every meal or buying everything that you like while your credit card debt rises is not a guilty pleasure. It’s an unhealthy lifestyle choice or a bad habit that hurts you in the long run. These kinds of things will damage your quality of life and lead to unhappiness. They’re often things we do to soothe negative emotions we carry or when we feel dissatisfied with life. These patterns usually flourish when you’re short on self-love and it make you feel out of control.

On the other hand, having a small sweet after dinner or taping soap operas to watch during your downtime or eating more on weekends or occasionally treating yourself to something special would be referred to as a guilty pleasure. Being careful about what you eat works better when you occasionally splurge so you don’t feel deprived. People laughed at me when I watched soap operas but as long as I tape and view during playtime, I’m happy. And occasional eating splurges or buying something that brings you pleasure makes life sweeter.

The more I’ve learned to love myself, the more I realized that I didn’t like to think of those splurges as guilty pleasure. Why feel guilty about something that brings you joy? Giving yourself love means doing things that make you happy. Splurges or other things that you enjoy say, “I love me!” They put a smile on your face or relax your stress. My goal in life now that I’ve left DoorMatville is to feel as good as possible every day. I highly recommend you make that a goal too! Why temper your pleasure by labeling what makes you happy as guilty?

Thinking of something as a guilty pleasure adds a negative emotion to what should be positive.

So I no longer have any guilty pleasures. Instead, I think of those activities as gifts of love to me, which is a totally positive vibe! Sometimes we really do something for pleasure that people act like we should be guilty for doing, like having ice cream when you’re on a diet. But it’s YOUR choice to make it a guilt activity. For example, I do word puzzles and love them. Often when I come up with an answer, I look in the back to see if I’m right.

I’ve had people tell me I’m cheating by looking at the answers, to which I ask on whom? Me? No! This is my pleasure and if I enjoy checking the answers, or get stuck for too long and look up one word to get moving, I enjoy that much more that feeling frustrated that I can’t do it at all. I do them for pleasure, so it’s fine! If I do puzzles on a train or in a waiting room and look in the back, I get looks from people that feels like they’re letting me know I got caught. It’s so weird and I just ignore them or laugh.

So what’s your guilty pleasure? Make the effort to do it 100% guilt free!
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Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at http://howdoiloveme.com. And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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