This is one of those philosophical musings that I share with you sometimes. Guilt. Uggghhh…..I don’t know if it’s religious based, or just human nature, but I always seem to be beating myself up about something, particularly late at night. Guilt seems to settle in like a fog bank in the dark of night. I think it happens more when I get tired, but it’s also part of my nature. And since I live alone without a mate, when I start ruminating late at night, there is no one to talk me out of it and lighten the moment.
I grew up Catholic, so guilt was built in at an early age. But I’ve also discovered that Catholics haven’t cornered the market on guilt. The Jewish faith also seems to suffer from guilt as well. Maybe guilt is a mechanism that organized religion uses to keep people in line. And maybe that’s not entirely a bad thing, but it is a heavy burden at times.
What I hate most about guilt is that when good things are happening, I somehow expect to be ‘punished’ for it later on; as though I secretly believe that I don’t have a right to be happy, or have good things happen to me. I examine my conscience and actions constantly. Did I speak to someone too sharply? Was I unfair to a child? Was I unkind? Did I spend too much, forget to calla friend with a problem, was I selfish or indifferent to someone else’s plight? And what punishment will be meted out to me for that? When will the axe or the other shoe fall? It wears me out worrying about it.
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions; because I don’t like to disappoint myself. But maybe what we all need to keep in mind is to be kind and compassionate to ourselves. Forgive ourselves our mistakes, realize that we’re not perfect, nor is anyone else. Maybe what we all need to remember is that charity begins at home, so let’s be charitable with ourselves. I will try to remember that when the late night guilt rolls in like fog! Be kind to yourself!