Ever feel guilty about something?
And the only way to relieve the feeling is to do what you feel guilty about not doing.
But, it feels like a trap.
You don’t even want to do it because you are only doing it because of guilt.
You know your actions are coming from an unhealthy
place in your mind and heart.
My guilt for the last year or so is related to not visiting my mother enough.
She lives only five minutes away. I make time for her once a week on Wednesdays.
However, my mind goes around in circles while I think about seeing her more often.
My guilt tells me that I should visit her more. Like at least two more times each week.
“Where is this guilt coming from?” I ask the interior walls of my car.
“I’m not the only child. She has four more kids.
What triggers this monster in me? Perhaps
living so close is not a brilliant idea.
I can actually throw a rock at her
apartment door to see if she is still alive. That’s
how close I am. Such madness.”
Oh help me, Jesus, I am talking to an empty passenger seat
of my car!
What gets to me is now that I’m over 50, I see my future when I
visit my mom. Yikes! One day I will turn 74.
How will I be? Will my children come around?
I’d be thrilled if I saw them come around once a week to take me out
That would complete my world. I would die a happy death.
I would hate it if my boys visited me just to relieve the
guilt in their consciences. That’s awful. I would know that their actions are not coming from a space of compassion, love, and warmth.
I never want to force anyone to come see me.
And my mom never forces the issue. She never says:
“O . . . you visit me Wednesday, only? No good.
And you . . . no call? Why? I die next year, maybe.”
(FYI, she is not dying anytime soon.)
Is guilt our own crazy-making head trip that we put on
ourselves? I think so.
What I do know is I don’t feed my guilt.
I don’t listen to it and go to my mom’s on weekends to watch
her favorite Filipino TV patrol channel with her for five hours.
I know what will happen if I do that.
My heart, mind, and body would enter its freaka-zoid mode!
Then, I would get this mad desire
to attack a huge bag of sour cream Lays potato chips.
Bind the guilt we carry around. It doesn’t
do us any good. It only interferes with
being present and grateful for all the blessings
you have given us.
Help us believe that
what we do for others is enough.