A Secret To Freeing Yourself From Guilt

Early in my marriage I went to a mental conditioning expert to ask him about ‘training guilt.’

We played a game of ‘why’…

I feel guilty when I’m training
Because I think I should be with my wife
Because we’re married
Because I love her
Because she makes me want to be a better man

The idea of the game is to keep drilling down until you get to the root of the concern.

In my case it was a mixture of love for my wife, fear of letting her down and fear of failure in my (second) marriage.

Once we drilled down to the source, we decided that I’d share everything with my wife and agree that she’d let me know her needs.

Our marriage has a credo: we talk about things before they become an issue.

This had an interesting effect by reframing my training as a gift from my wife, rather than a need that was in conflict with my marriage. The season that followed was one of my best years for training and recovery.

The technique (of self-discovery followed by disclosure) worked so well that I brought it into my work life. I trust my colleagues to let me know their needs. This saves tremendous time because I don’t spent time working on things that aren’t essential to them.

The flip side of this trust is an obligation on me. I need to share my needs with the people that are close to me.

A combination of openness, and trust, is liberating. As the owner of an active imagination, I can waste time and energy on matters that only matter, or even exist, in my head.

By trusting people to tell you what’s important, you will save a ton of energy and guilt turns into a source of self-awareness.