Be Done With Feeling Guilty

My Mastermind group {think book club on steroids that meets weekly} is reading Danielle LaPorte’s book “The Fire Starter Sessions” and boy is this book filled with life lesson after life lesson for me! One person was asked to read a section of this week’s reading to our group, and that was me. I read the words aloud and it was like a freight train hit me head on. I struggled with the words. Here is what it said:

“Be done with feeling guilty for wanting to feel the way you want to feel. Follow your desired emotion. Don’t analyze it too deeply. Just let it roll and rumble a bit. It may be there to humble you, expand you, heal, surprise, or reinvent you. Anywhere it leads, it’s there for a divine reason.”

I of course knew exactly what it spoke to in me. I had a toxic friendship that was hurting me and I could not walk away for any reason. I had been hurt, time and time again, but yet I kept working on the friendship. I had walked away multiple times but kept returning to yet be hurt again. The last time I had walked away I was having lunch with a friend discussing this friendship and she asked me didn’t this person deserve to be forgiven? She was right, of course and I forgave and worked on the friendship some more only to be hurt again. It was as if I was trapped in the movie “Groundhog’s Day”. I kept waking up and hitting that alarm thinking that this time it was going to be different, but it wasn’t. I would bang my head and say to myself, what is it going to take to change? It was Einstein’s definition of insanity, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”, oh yeah, that was me….insane! I kept wanting this person to change and stop the insanity but it was me that needed to change and stop my own insanity. Clearly this person didn’t want to change, so who was I to hope that change could occur?

And that feeling guilty bit in the quote was what I was struggling with the most. This friend had some really horrible life circumstances happen and that voice inside my head kept telling me what a bad friend I would be if I just walked away. I had held out hope for so long that this friend could make the changes needed to live a happy and healthy life. I had faith {and I still do}. I see the potential of this person to live an amazing life filled with love. So I stayed and tried to be a good friend, but I lost my joy in the process. I realized that when I talked to this friend my emotional tanks quickly emptied. I would get off the phone feeling so sad and full of pity.  The calls would even make my stomach queasy. To recover, I would then surround myself with good friends who would fill my tanks back up again. But as I returned from my girlfriend getaway with 6 friends this week, I quickly learned that I like this feeling of being surrounded by people who love and care for me as much as I love and care for them. And as I sat in my mastermind group this week I was stunned to realize how many of those people in my group I love and care for and how much they love and care for me. I want this feeling all the time and I want to love and nurture these healthy relationships, not the toxic ones.

Clearly I was surrounded by love, but not from this friend. This friend was caught up in their own drama and had no love to give. I needed reciprocation and there was none. While I wish this friend well and hope for the best, I am now going to cheer for them from another field surrounded by love and no longer feel guilty. This does not mean that I don’t love and care for this friend, I clearly do, but now it will be from afar. I am here for this friend but now in a different way, a way that is healthy for me. Because as I wrote last week, if I don’t secure my own oxygen mask first I am no good to anyone else.

While my issue was a toxic friendship, others may struggle with a job that  is depressing  or a home that is filled with clutter or a body that is abused by overeating or lack of exercise or perhaps you are mentally or physically abused by a spouse or loved one. All I know is, if you want to change, find the right people to support you. If you don’t know of someone, ask your friends. If you need professional help, go and find that as well. There are counselors, spiritual advisors, business coaches, life coaches, personal trainers, professional organizers, family and friends who are there to love and support you on your journey.  Find your desired emotion and do the work you need to do to make it happen. Create your support system and watch yourself flourish. My desired emotion was love, and I found it right where I already was standing.


To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity


MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at


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1 Response

  1. Kristi

    This is so true. For years I was in the position of the ‘fixer’ of all things. My sister and brother were on bad relationships, my parents were going through financial difficulties, two of my brother in laws were involved with meth and in and out of treatment and jail. The list goes on. There came a day when I made the choice to remove myself from their situations. I no longer asked them about their issues or gave them the advice they were seeking. All of these people were asking for help but refused to take anyones advice and move forward. It was like a broken record. Hearing their problems over and over was draining and negatively impacting my own personal lufe and family. By changing my reaction to them and backing away I became a stronger person. One needs to remember they cannot control the actions of others but only their own.

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