A few weeks ago I was walking through my local garden centre and I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. It stopped me in my tracks.
Sitting on the shelf of the display unit was an ugly but strangely familiar garden ornament. It was small grey gargoyle. Its face was stern and miserable. I was so drawn to it (despite it’s quite frankly horrible appearance) that I felt compelled to take this photo.
It was only on my drive home from the garden centre I realised the significance of this incident. The gargoyle sitting on that shelf was familiar to me because its was my Guilt Gremlin!
If I was to take the narrator in my head that speaks to me when I’m experiencing mother’s guilt and give it a face, it would be that ugly looking gargoyle!
Knowing this was powerful and I’m sharing it with you because it could be powerful for you too. You see what’s outside of our awareness controls us. But what we’re aware of, we can control.
The crazy and unhelpful part of our mother’s guilt is what I would call our Guilt Gremlin! Our Guilt Gremlin is out to make us miserable. It’s the part of us that makes us feel guilty no matter what we do. Its impact is toxic and often cruel.
Most of the time our Guilt Gremlin disguises itself as us. But it’s not us. It might have developed sophisticated ways of going undercover, but by revealing its true nature we can start to gain a better perspective on it.
By giving our Guilt Gremlin an identity we can soften its impact. This is because we can start to see it as separate to us and not part of us. We can begin to detach from it and become more disassociated from it. The more disassociated we are the less intense the feelings will be.
By doing this you become the observer of your Guilt Gremlin. This is what I would call a privileged position. You can be the fly on the wall watching it, rather than it lurking in the shadows watching and controlling you.
As you begin to get a clearer picture of this monster of the mind you might notice what your gremlin looks like. Or sounds like. You might detect its voice qualities. Whether it’s male or female. Its speed. Its intensity. The impact it has on your body. You might notice certain colours that appear with your Guilt Gremlin. Or its shape and size. Or the movement it makes.
This is powerful because, as Rick Carson in Taming Your Gremlin, explains:
“One thing is for certain. As you begin to simply notice your gremlin, you will become acutely sensitive to the fact that you are not your gremlin, but rather, his observer. You will see clearly that your gremlin has no real hold on you. As this awareness develops, you will begin to appreciate and enjoy your life more and more. “
Over the years I’ve had clients draw pictures of their Gremlins and even given them pet names. And in doing so they’ve been able to create a more healthy relationship between them and their Gremlin.
So as you get more familiar with your Guilt Gremlin I hope you notice its power over you reducing. I’d love to hear from you as you discover more about what yours looks and sounds like, so feel free to drop me a message.
Here’s to us taking back control from our Guilt Gremlin!
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