It seems that I'm packed and ready at any given moment for a guilt trip. My mother was a master at using guilt to elicit obedience. I found guilt to be a short term motivator - kind of like having the teacher in the room. If, when the teacher steps out and the class is not motivated by something deeper than guilt, chaos quickly takes over.
Over the years I have felt guilt over missing a birthday, not exercising, being abrupt with a child, saying no, saying yes, buying the nylon velvet hide-a-bed, taking a nap, not being perfect, etc., etc., etc. A lot of years - a lot of guilt.
Then, one day while driving I was listening to Dr. Laura on the radio. A woman called in and expressed guilt for not wanting to interact with her alcoholic mother who had created a very toxic relationship with her daughter. She felt pulled between the obligation to her mother and the need to be sane and healthy.
Dr. Laura stopped her as she expressed her overwhelming guilt with this situation. Dr. Laura pointed out that there are only two times where guilt is the appropriate response - One, if you have done something legally wrong or, two, if you've done something morally wrong. She told the woman that she could feel sad, angry, disappointed, exhausted or any other emotion in response to her mother's dysfunction BUT, because she was doing nothing morally or legally wrong, she needed to unload the burden of guilt.
As women, I think our tendency is to strap guilt to our backs and lug it around for years. I think sometimes we feel guilty just for being human. I now challenge my 'guilt trips' to see if they meet the legal/moral definition and I'm getting better at recognizing my limits and not feeling guilty in doing that.
* We were so practical with this couch purchase. We decided to buy a QUEEN nylon velvet floral hide-a-bed in case we had company stay with us. The only problem with that was that ALL OUR FAMILY LIVED IN TOWN! We had no visitors! There were only three things wrong with our couch - First, it weighed abouta half a ton. Second, it NEVER wore out and Third, it tended to unfold as you were moving it through doorways. So when you hear 'Harvest Gold', 'Avocado Green', 'Burnt Orange' or 'Rust', be afraid! Mr. W. liked the couch but then, he is horribly color blind.
There is a saying - Don't mess with Mother Nature. Our first couch is proof of that!
Provo, Utah - Fall 2009
No onedoes floral'earth tones' as well as Mother Nature!