Asking a mom if she ever feels guilty is like asking a woman if she likes chocolate. It’s a “no brainer.” It comes with the territory. Show me a mom and guilt is around the corner.
Like the song: Should I Stay or Should I Go, guilt peeks its ugly head like a fire breathing dragon. Should I quit work and stay at home. Should I go back to work? Do I volunteer enough, did little Johnnie get plenty of hugs last week? Are my kids eating healthy enough, are they in the correct activities? If only I were a better cook, skinnier, happier – and as the plates continue to spin, so does our head.
Guilt is tricky in that whatever you do, the void can’t be filled. Whatever choice you make, it’s the wrong one. If you’re here, you should be there, ying should be yang, up should be down, right is wrong, the grass is always greener, and the cycle continues.
There’s a book recently published called: “Enemies of the Heart”. It discusses the characteristics of Guilt and spurs one to answer the questions: Who do you owe and What do you owe?
Often, the “Guilty” hat follows us around like a permanent cloud, a dark shadow you can’t outrun. The author, Andy Stanley suggests if we can answer Who do we owe and What do we owe, we’ll break free from this emotional control. Guilt, a destructive power, tries to set us up for failure, before we’re out of the gate. Look guilt in the face, make it play a fair game.
Whatever circumstances you’re in, perhaps something unforeseen, a bad marriage, a bum deal at work, miscommunication, a child in a difficult phase, whatever the case, set up a plan of action. If you’re happy at work, embrace it. If you’re happiest at home and can afford to stay, seize it. We’re not living in Utopia where everything is perfect. We’re living in a world full of too many choices, too little time and one mom trying to juggle it all.
Don’t let Guilt rob you of the joy you have, in whatever position or spot you land.
Guilt is a “Happiness” robber, a contentment thief. It’s no respecter of persons and doesn’t care what side of the fence, saddle or route you’ve chosen. Guilt will find fault with whatever stance you take, making you feel as though you’ll never meet the standard, complete the race or be truly successful. It’s a 2nd guesser, a what-IF-ER.
It’s not your friend, rather an enemy that needs to be set sail. If you had a “friend” who treated you this way, they would be sent on their way in a heart beat, with a footprint on their back side, yet we cuddle up with GUILT like a warm blanket and hot chocolate, hosting it in the most sacred position: our home, our heart, our life.
Identify Guilt for what it is, recognize it and whack it with a broom. Tell it out loud: NO MORE! Answer the questions: Who do I owe and what do I owe and in this, you’ll find the peace, the contentment you need to embrace the Happy in the place you’re in.
Do Your Best and Forget the Rest. Here’s to living a life with contentment and purpose.