Monday, October 6, 2008

Girtie the Guilty Goat

Websters says guilt is a feeling of self reproach from believing one has done a wrong.

I disagree, in my world one can feel guilty without the belief that one has done wrong.

Sometimes I feel guilty for things I have no control over, such as, someone did something I should have done, before I got to it, or if I forgot to thank someone properly, or wish them a happy birthday (like my sister Angie, sorry sis, Happy Birthday late), or if ....well, you get the picture. It usually involves forgetting, or not meeting my own or someone Else's expectations. The last time I checked, forgetting was not a sin, nor is not reading someones mind. The guilt is there nonetheless. Maybe there is a better word for what I am speaking of, but for now, I will use the word guilt, and hope you understand.

I was recently offered a gift. It was something I mentioned I needed, but was not asking for. It was going to cost the giver some time and effort. It was much appreciated, and when offered,.....I gladly accepted! Quickly I realised that the gift did not come without strings....strings of guilt. The gift now had parameters, nothing wrong with that, parameters are okay, but strings. I hate strings, and guilt, I HATE GUILT. When I say guilt, again, I don't mean guilt from doing something wrong, but illegitimate guilt. Guilt heaped on by someone else, or sometimes oneself that is not founded. When a gift is given with strings, and by that I mean expectations, it is not really a gift, at all, is it?

I then declined the gift, and now I feel guilty!
Just call me Girtie the Guilty Goat!

I once wanted to give a gift. I noticed a young women at the church we were attending a few years ago, had a very ratty purse. I new she didn't have the finances to purchase a new one. Her purse was torn, and bulging at the seams, it was too small, and the strap was broken. It was Christmas time and I really wanted to do it. I even went as far as searching for just the right one at the store. Then the guilty bug hit, and I began to second guess my idea. What if she felt guilty that she had not given me anything? What if she was embarrassed to carry a shiny new purse, and would feel guilty? What if she thought there were strings attached, like guilt? Or perhaps she liked the ratty pocket book and yet would carry my gifted one, out of guilt....

I never gave the gift, and now I feel guilty!
Girtie the guilty Goat again!

Girtie the Guilty Goat is a funny thing, isn't she?

1 comment:

thehomespunheart said...

Guilt is something I struggle with - real and otherwise! It is so easy to create false guilt and oh, so burdensome. Thanks for your thoughts on this! :)