You've heard the phrase Guilty Pleasure; perhaps you have used this phrase yourself. This afternoon I've been thinking about a conversation with a friend yesterday that has really stuck with me. A conversation about guilty pleasures.
Growing up in my family, in my efforts to please my parents, I often pretended to dislike things that I actually liked and to like things that didn't appeal to me. Why would I do this? Just for a bit of parental approval, I guess. I was very swayed by the opinion of others. But, as it happens, I must have convinced myself of these long-standing falsehoods too because into adulthood I've spent years rediscovering myself, rediscovering things that do indeed bring me pleasure. I acknowledge that, in fact, I find it difficult to label a thing as pleasurable.
I do know where the guilty part of guilty pleasures comes. Many strange messages spin around in my head and make it difficult to always understand where I stand on things. If not for my oddly dysfunctional family of origin and from the church, I might not struggle with such prisons of the mind. Even to this day I still have moments where I am able to free my mind of still-entrenched and hidden shackles. Shackles of the mind.
While my dear friend and I were talking yesterday, one of the revelations that came to me in a moment of our conversation was a thing that has been stewing in my mind for decades: the idea of escapism. When reading a great book, performing intricate hobbies, watching enchanting film, we often say that we are participating in such activities for reasons of escape. Escape from the drudgery of life, I assume, escape from boredom. Maybe escape to things too: to felicity, to enjoyment, to bliss. I hadn't thought of that before.
In my home way back, such an idea as escaping from reality was harshly judged. I would never have admitted to such a sentiment as escapism. But while my friend and I were talking we began considering this idea and how absurd it is to avoid the pleasures of escapism and of guilty pleasures.
Why oh why should pleasure be guilty?
And so I have decided to eschew guilty pleasure. From this moment forward there are only pleasures. Open, honest, delightful.
I reclaim the idea of doing things simply for the purpose of self care, self interest, self, luxury.