Marina Lombardo, LCSW
Within Every Challenge...

...Are the Seeds of Opportunity


In This Issue...

Feature Article
What's New
Feedback from Readers

Marina Lombardo
Psychotherapy, Counseling & Personal Coaching
Lake Bennet Medical Center
1151 Blackwood Avenue, Suite 120
Ocoee, FL 34761
(407) 615-0848

Welcome Everyone!

Not long ago, I was a guest on the radio talk show, Conceive On Air with host Kim Hahn. We were in the middle of a hot, sweltering July, and the topic focused on the importance of taking time off and having fun, but how often, this priority is pushed to the bottom of the list.

“Why is it that it’s so easy to feel guilty when we take time for ourselves?” Kim asked.

Good question—and it got me thinking about guilt, and whether it’s always a reliable indicator of what we should or shouldn’t do.

Guilt is Good, Part I

What exactly is guilt?

According to Webster’s dictionary, guilt is defined as: “1. the act of committing an offense, especially against the law; 2. a feeling of responsibility for wrongdoing.”
OK, on the assumption that your vacation plans don’t include robbing any banks, it seems obvious that the sticking point lies in the last half of the definition—feeling like you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t. So, how does something good, something positive, like taking time to kick back and recharge, bring up feelings of guilt?

Why do I feel guilty?

There are probably two reasons we’re so susceptible to guilt. The first reason is cultural. The United States boasts the world’s strongest economy, but in comparison to other industrialized nations, we also enjoy far less vacation. Europe, for example, puts such importance on long vacations, that in many places, August isn’t even on the calendar! Maybe part of the reason for this drive is that our country is not only capitalistic, it was founded on the protestant work ethic which says that a one’s value is connected to how hard one works. We’ve heard all the proverbs: “the early bird catches the worm; you snooze, you lose; strike while the iron is hot; nothing succeeds like success.”

You get the message: the world belongs to those who go out there and make it happen—and thanks to cell phones, text messaging and email-- things are happening 24/7. But working too hard, too much, and too long can have all the negative fallout of any addiction. Yet, ironically, it is the one excess that our culture seems to condone—and even reward.

The second reason is a personal one. Many of us come from families where we were made to feel like we were doing something wrong if we took care of ourselves, or put ourselves first. The essence of healthy boundaries—taking care of one’s self while being in relationship with others--is something a lot of us never learned, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of making everything and everyone more important than ourselves.

So now that you have a better understanding of what guilt is, and where it comes from, what do you do about it?

In my next newsletter, I’ll give you specific ways to recognize your own guilt signals, and steps on how to transform these signals into invitations to move forward.

For right now, though, here’s some homework for you—simple homework (cause I hate homework!) Just notice the times you feel guilty. Is it when you want to take time off for no specific reason? Is it when you want to say “no!” to a request but your guilt forces a “yes?” If you’re so inclined, you can even keep a journal of those times. Now don’t try to change anything—just notice when it happens. Soon, you’ll see why guilt is good.

Until next time…
Be well!


What's New

Finally! My new book, I am More Than My Infertility: 7 Proven Tools to Transform a Life Crisis into a Personal Breakthrough, which I co-author with Linda Parker, will be available Oct. 1. You can pre-order from either of my websites,, or The book will also be available on or

Conceive on Air!

Listen live on Wednesday, at 2 pm, EST, by logging onto If you missed my 7/11/07 broadcast with radio host Kim Hahn, on “Fertile Fun in the Summer Sun”, you can log onto it via my website, Archived radio shows are also available via my website, along with my prior newsletters. Just navigate to “Helpful Links.”

Archived radio shows are also available via my website, along with my prior newsletters.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 7 pm.
I will be speaking at Infertility Support of Central Florida (an affiliate of Resolve), at their meeting in Winter Park. My presentation will interweave the tools in my upcoming book with ways to deal with the holidays if you’re struggling with infertility. For information, check out their website at

Conceive Magazine

Next issue is scheduled to be on the newsstands in August. Don’t miss my Emotionally Speaking column, which will feature my next article, “Party of Three,” about third party reproduction.


Feedback from Readers

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