September 28, 2011

Gratitude and Guilt

I have a lot to be grateful for, and I truly love the freedom that I find in expressing my gratitude. Gratitude is not a should with me, it is how I move towards joy. 

I have learned to identify when I am denying myself joy.   When I feel guilt or shame or the feeling of panic, I am not allowing myself the choice to be grateful.

I must speak about my emotions or become them.

I can say I am guilty for not getting more done around my home. For not being more active in my soon-to-be-teen's life. His dad is taking over a lot of the activities: showing up at piano lessons, taking our son to boy-scouts (he has done that for years, and I have always felt guilty). I could be getting my son to show me his homework, getting up earlier to make him breakfast, or supervising his piano lessons.

To give myself credit, I do arrange his doctor's appointments. I am reading him Birdology each night, something he was unsure he would like but that we are both quietly enjoying together a few pages at a time. If I did not have this time with him, we would have little one-on-one time. I sometimes cajole him to walk on his newly knitted leg, by taking him places. But I am mom, and perhaps not so needed or wanted as I was.  

I guess my guilt is also about an unspoken concern: Have I done something wrong that I am going to  regret (or need to correct) and lose this chance allowing him to grow away from me, bit by bit by bit?  Maybe it is time for a Gibran poem...  


  1. Ah,that time sucking, but undeniable feeling of guilt. My daughter is 32, a new mother herself, and my addict son in 27. Now they can use hindsight, and our more honest adult relationship to assure me it was not my fault NOR my accomplishment that they are who they are.

    People are born individuals, and yes environment shapes, but my kids are totally different from each other, from me, etc.
    What I have learned (among LOTS of other things) is a much harder lesson. That is to let others be who they are. Just love and accept.

    Easier said than done!

    Thanks for your comments. I appreciate your taking the time.

  2. Thanks for your words, Lou. Thanks for the vision ahead, and for the words I may share with my own mom.
    It is not my mom's fault, nor her accomplishment that has me where I am today. Where I am today is not such a bad place. Even though, she continues to feel that I misrepresent her by virtue of having a vulnerability to what doctors call, "mental illness."

    I just see myself as having some fine-tuning to things others might never notice. Not better than, just different...

  3. Smitty, I am sure that you are a good mom. And all you can do is lay the foundation. It is up to each of us to then build from that. I am glad that you are reading Birdology. How cool is that?


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~