One of the two outer thirds of a mango divided into three slices is being cut into four pieces. One hand is positioning the fruit chips, while the other is guiding a kitchen knife. White background.

The Guilt Trip!
How many times have we walked this trip?
How many times have we made others walk this trip?
How many times have others made us walk, hike, trek, run, jog, sweat this trip?

Its the month of May…We’re bang in the middle of the “MANGO SEASON”. If you’ve lived in India for know this is BIIIG! Each household has this one “ALPHANSO GUY” who delivers your weekly crate of Mangoes, your entire menu from morning to evening revolves around mangoes, your mum chooses the mangoes just before your meal to store them in the refrigerator.. correctly timed so that its just the perfect temperature at the end of your meal, you can see that gleam of pride in your father’s know that “providing” these deliciously sweet perfectly ripe mangoes for his children makes him for that moment the happiest father on planet Earth!

But what happens when this changes? What happens when you cannot be there to eat those mangoes after dinner cause you have an event to go to? What happens when your mum is so tired through the day and cutting that extra piece of Mango just isn’t that fun anymore? Do you then feel guilty for upsetting your parents? Does your mother then feel guilty for not “feeling” happy to cut that Mango for her children? Does she then judge herself as a parent, and since she judged herself does she then judge you , and since you judge yourself do you then judge your parents???? And does this cycle of guilt and judgment ever end? Do you then eat Mangoes even when your body is super full, do you then cut mangoes just cause its your “responsibility”, do you then provide mangoes out of the fear that your children are growing up and don’t really need you anymore ? Is the Mango now fun anymore? Is it now becoming a burden? How significant has a “fruit” become!..Is it even about the Mango anymore? The joy of just enjoying the fruit for what it is..does that still exist? Is it fading away? Does something need to change to keep pace with the change?

So clearly, i’m not talking about Mangoes anymore!!Do we play this game in all our relationships? It starts out as fun, joyful, delicious almost and then somewhere down the line the point of the relationship is lost. We make it significant, attach all these other drama games to it, start expecting and projecting, and expect and project so much, we HAVE to judge and use GUILT in order to “control” how our relationship shows up, but GUILT doesn’t work!..So you then start resenting and almost hating each other and yourself in the process..killing parts of you as you go along..till it reaches a point where yo HAVE to leave cause you didn’t allow it to used Guilt to control it!!!!! So did Guilt work?? Does it ever work? Or is it a complete lie??

Now imagine a relationship where guilt just didn’t exist? Would it then be more fun and more joyful? What will you have to be or do to create a relationship free of guilt? ¬†Will we have to stop expecting and projecting? Will we have to stop judging others and ourselves? Will we have to love ourselves more and more everyday? Will we have to be kind and gentle to ourselves? Will we have to choose to be more and more happy everyday? Sounds terrible right??:P… lets start here!!..Let’s get rid of the GUILT!!..It is NOT needed!! And..I’d really like to enjoy my Mangoes again!! for the sake of this Mango Season..lets ask ¬†ourselves..

What will our relationships look like if Guilt didn’t exist???

– Dr. Khushboo Shah

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