Don’t Feel Guilty About Your Bacon. Embrace Your Bacon.

Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Mmmm… Bacon. Am I right?

As much as I’d love to go on and on about the sizzling goodness of bacon (and toss all health concerns out the window to indulge in an endless supply of it), that’s not what this blog is about. So if you were looking for an eat-whatever-you-want, own-your-curves, if-you’re-gonna-go-go-happy blog about the actual food, bacon, I’m sad to say you’ve come to the wrong place. 

If, however, you want to learn how to live a guilt-free life that allows you to be true to yourself in all your pure, innate glory (AKA, “bacon”), then this is the blog for you.

But before we dive right in, let me explain the title of this blog: “Just Bacon.”

Why “Just Bacon”?

I mean, why NOT?? (Jk, jk.)

I recently visited my sister in Denver, Colorado, and while I was out there, we went to this nice restaurant for lunch one afternoon. While my sister ordered some kind of chicken sandwich, complete with veggies and a diverse-looking palette, I ordered a simple burger with bacon. I told the waitress that I didn’t want any veggies or any other embellishments on it. When she brought it to the table and placed it in front of me, she said (with a little bit of judgment, I sensed), “Just bacon.” 

Now, once upon a time, in a childhood far, far away (okay, I’m only 26, so not that far away I guess), I would have felt guilty for ordering my “just bacon” burger. And people continue to judge me for my unhealthy eating habits. But over the years, I have learned to separate the judgments, comments, and opinions of others from my “just bacon” (sweet, crispy, lovely bacon) self. 

Because just as bacon is amazing all on its own, without any embellishments to distract from its delectable taste, my true self is DA BOMB when I subtract all the outside shit that others try to project onto me.

Now that I’ve explained the title of this blog, I want to detail who this blog is for. (Don’t worry, vegans and vegetarians are welcome here.)

Who “Just Bacon” Is For

This blog is for anyone who struggles with guilt on a regular basis, to the point where it gets in the way of living your best life. 

Guilt is a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression; two issues that are taking center stage more and more these days. People, especially Millennials, feel the overwhelming weight of guilt or, as I like to call it, the “anti-bacon” pressures of society. 

The causes of guilt vary from person to person, and may be the result of multiple factors. Verbal abuse, for instance, is a major cause of guilt, as it delivers constant messages of negativity geared at making a person feel bad about him or herself. Years of verbal abuse can cause long-term damage to self-esteem, as the individual is conditioned to speak to him or herself in the same manner as the abuser without even realizing it. 

If you are a victim of verbal abuse, you likely don’t even realize that your “self-talk” is not actually you at all; it’s the voice of your abuser, which is getting in the way of your “just bacon” self. You begin to make decisions based on the guilt you feel: “That would inconvenience someone else, so I won’t do it.”

You may also struggle with guilt if you have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) like me. I didn’t learn that I have OCD until I was 23 and started therapy. The reason it was not obvious to me or my family that I had OCD sooner is because I fall on the more obsessive end of the spectrum (i.e. I overthink things) as opposed to the compulsive end (i.e. cleaning, extreme hygiene, etc.).

To top it off, I am one of nine children, so growing up, it was easy to get caught in a downward spiral of negative thinking: “Asking for this would be selfish,” “I should stay home and watch the kids so my sister can hang out with her friends,” “I’m a terrible person if I want to sit in the front seat when there are so many other, more deserving siblings than I.”

Anytime I would get into an argument with a sibling, accidentally break something, or even just forget to put my clean laundry away, in my mind, I was the absolute worst human being on earth. I spent a large portion of my childhood crying to myself, feeling terrible for every silly little thing, even if it was completely out of my control or impossible for me to predict. To this day, my worst nightmares are the dreams that involve me letting my family down.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret that my therapist taught me. Are you ready? (Brace yourself.)

Guilt serves no purpose whatsoever. (Other than to make us feel like shit.)

Now before you try to quote me on that in court after killing your Aunt Bertha, let me explain. We often confuse “guilt” with “regret.” Regret is what we feel when we have wronged someone and desire to make amends. Guilt, on the other hand, involves negative self-talk that gets us nowhere fast.

For example, back when I was 15, I remember my older sister and I were going to try out for the same soccer coach. He was known as the best in the league. In the days leading up to tryouts, he would come and watch players during games. It became no secret that he was considering my sister and I, as he frequently came to our games and asked about us. But he only had one spot left on his team. Later, I learned that he had decided he wanted me. As soon as I heard this, I was flattered… for half a second before the sinking feeling of guilt set in. I did something wrong. I wasn’t good enough. I was a cruel person. How could I do this to my sister?

See the problem?

There was no good reason for me to feel bad. Yes, feeling sympathetic for my sister and wanting good things for her is nice. But that’s not what I was feeling. I was feeling shitty about myself. 

Now the story would be different if I had sabotaged my sister’s chances at making the team by taking a hammer to her ankle in the middle of the night or replacing her protein shakes with purely chocolate ones. In that case, I should (rightfully so) feel regret, meaning I should do what I can to make amends and apologize for what I had done. 

To break it down more simply:

Guilt = Counterproductive and Self-Harming

Regret = Self-Aware and (Should Be) Productive

The purpose of this blog is to help you identify when the feelings you have are guilt. By identifying guilt, you can begin removing it and its sources so that all you are left with is pure bacon.

 Sweet, crispy, worthy-of-so-much-love BACON.

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