There are certain terms I just don’t like the sound of guilty pleasure for one. Not a fan. There is (should be) no guilt in pleasure and what exactly makes one guilty in pursuing pleasure? For the sake of this post, I’m going to break this down – let’s get literal.
adjective (guiltier, guiltiest)
culpable of or responsible for a specified wrongdoing
a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoymentshe smiled with pleasure at being praised
used or intended for entertainment rather than business
give sexual enjoyment or satisfaction to
Happy? Satisfaction? Enjoyment? Hm, pursuing happiness sure doesn’t sound much like wrongdoing to me. Perhaps the aversion lies in how guilt can be strongly associated with shame and there is nothing shameful about pleasure. Not a thing.
“Oh, but it’s just something we say.” I can feel the eyes rolling from here, but the more conscious of definitions and emotional associations I become, the more aware I am of how these affect thoughts and perceptions, and in turn life. Guilt and shame have no place tied to pleasure, it only serves to further perpetuate the lie that pleasure is a naughty thing. I don’t know about you, but I feel some kind of awesome after a bubble bath or indulging in a leisurely brunch. There are enough places for fearful/shameful/guilty thoughts to poison and misdirect – I don’t need it to hide in my bubble bath or my hairbrush performance session of Moulin Rouge‘s “Elephant Melody”. Seriously.
Explore your relationship with pleasure. Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths while you sit with the word. How does it feel? Physical sensations? What are the first words that come to mind? This is a relationship worth pursuing. Tell me what you find.