I’m having a difficult time with an issue that turns up “almost” weekly. It’s been like this for about three years. When this issue arises it causes me frustration, anxiety, and guilt. I am weary of it. The question arises, “why?” Why can’t I make a decision and be done with it? Why do I vacillate between yes and no, the pros and cons? Why am I torturing myself? What is the realization, the root cause of this and how do I deal with it?
I believe, after some contemplation, the root cause is GUILT. I feel GUILTY for doing what I believe is best for me in this situation. But why and what is guilt? How do I know if that is what I am feeling? Should I be feeling remorse? Sigh. Let’s get the facts for me here. What resonated with me in this case from my research is, “Remorse comes from your heart, while guilt comes from your ego mind.” This guilt that I am feeling is definitely coming from my ego mind. It has been drilled into me that I should feel guilty if I don’t support certain people whether they are right or wrong, whether I want to/feel like it or not (because what you want and how you feel don’t matter is the message being sent) because they are family. It doesn’t matter if it makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if it makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if it drains my joy. It doesn’t matter if I am stoic in presence. It just matters that I do what family or a good Christian is supposed to do by the standards of family, religion, society, or culture. That is what matters. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON THE OUTSIDE AND TO THE EYES OF OTHER PEOPLE. It’s about the “look” of perfection. It is the disguise of “we’re all alright” and “everything is okay.”
Many have suffered holding secrets and atrocities taking them to the grave while once walking dead inside amongst the alive to uphold the family name, traditions, save face with their religion and position. What an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of children or people. What would it look like if you left the church? What would it look like if you left the family business? What would that do to us if you said something about what happened to you? It would expose us. It would make people think poorly of us. Just heal privately and when you are finished, never speak of it again. Or just stay because we need you and want you to and we don’t really care if this is not your path. We don’t care about your happiness. We care about what we look like, what we want, and what we need.
I believe today I have chosen the process of breaking free of that unwarranted guilt. I guess this is part of my 2023 spiritual journey. Oh well, here we go!
Psalm 42:7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.