Wednesday, April 25, 2012
We live in a guilt –ridden society. Most of us feel some form of guilt everyday. We feel guilty about driving our cars, and polluting the air, having trash that can’t be recycled, not being able to afford braces, dance lessons, vacations,etc.. for our kids, not being able to care for our ageing parents,- you name it, we feel guilty about it.
I grew up in a very rigid household. My siblings and I were raised on guilt. We ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and then we slept with it at night. Every transgression, mistake, or outburst, was continually resurrected with the intention of bringing up morally sound adults. We were suffocated by the guilt and shame piled on us for being – well- human. We spent our childhoods trying to meet some kind of unreachable parental perfection perceived by my mother. By the time I had moved away from home I was an anxiety ridden mess, guilty and ashamed, I continually apologized to people, simply for being there. And one day I did something unforgiveable-at least in my parents’ eyes, they basically disowned me. I moved away to escape my shame, I tried to bury it deep inside. I didn’t tell anyone in my “new life” what I had done. Fortunately for me, I had an awesome roommate (and now best friend) , she didn’t know me well , but she could tell that I had issues. One day she advised me to just get it out. So I put it all out there. Even though I was afraid that when I was done telling her what I had done, she would think I was an awful person, I told her anyway.
Guess what she said after she heard my story? “Well, that’s okay. Everybody makes mistakes, let it go and move on.” Whew, what a relief, telling someone my mistake seemed to lift all that baggage off of me. I let go of past, guilt, and fear. I learned to live with my humanity, and not continually beat myself up for mistakes. I learned to live in the moment.
Not everyone is as fortunate as I am to have someone in their life that they can go to for guilt relief. So many people feel they are alone, especially in this struggle to change their lifestyle and lose weight. When I read blogs here on SP by people who have made a mistake, I don’t view them as excuses; I see them as a confession. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, and explain to people what you have done. And that is why I often respond with “That’s ok, you made a mistake, let it go and move on.” After all, we are all just human.