Down with guilt, I say! Let that mighty tree be felled and burnt and each season that brings up new creepers into life again – let them be taken down! Guilt! How many times it has weakened us. A sickness, that ebbs the energy and confuses the mind. Often unrelated to deed or intent, in comes the uninvited guest. As in Mansfield Park, guilt is our own Henry Crawford courting Fanny Price. He may dress well – in church attire, in a business suit, or in a child who thinks she should spend more time with grandma.
Like lucifer’s apple, guilt brings knowledge that can’t be trusted. Swallow it and you’ll be looking for fig leaves. See if any good will come of guilt. I dare you. See when you plant it, what will grow. See when you hide it, how you are tethered. Let it educate you and notice that you grow smaller.
Today a friend asked me how things were. I remembered yesterdays. Wonderful with sunny emotions. A collection of connected moments. I wanted to say something about them. I was looking in at a shop window. Chocolates on the shelves behind the glass. But remembering today, I was denied.
I yelled from my darkened face. And then I yelled again. That was the morning. Then the kids went to school and I went to work. What a way to walk. I thought of this and out popped:
I yelled at the kids which I hated, but I don’t hate myself.
It even surprised me. Saying that to my friend, let me realize that today wasn’t an all-or-none parenting moment. Many earlier days that began much the same weren’t so forgiving. And because I didn’t forgive myself so easy, I didn’t forgive others so easy. The anger chases it’s ratty tail, you know until Guilt tires him out.
Because I didn’t spend the day guilty, the afternoon and evening had a chance. Down with guilt! Up with new chances! Hooray!
Self Care Tip #68 – Take the new chance! Be a friend to yourself.
Question: How have new chances redeemed you? Please tell me your story.