Monday, May 18, 2015

Shooting Myself in the Foot with Guilt & Fear

Sometimes I shoot myself in the foot. Not literally. (Though I could. Because I do have a really nice black and silver S&W 9mm.)

I shoot myself in the foot by making decisions based on a fear or guilt paradigm.

Fear that I am going to do the wrong thing. Fear of what people will think. Fear of what might happen.

Guilt that I'm not enough. Guilt that I've not done enough.  Guilt that I'm letting everyone down in my wife, mother, teacher, business owner spheres.

I run miles-which I don't feel guilty about. But, I start to feel guilty when the miles run mean I need a nap. And thus I am neglecting my family. And the kids are spending hours watching movies. And they made their own breakfast and now their own lunch. And what kind of an excuse for a mom am I???

What will people think?

Do you ever fall into this trap too? Are you with me?

I think we try mightily to not care what people think. In a lot of ways, we probably shouldn't care. But, the fact of the matter is, we do. We do care how people think we are doing on this whole life gig.

Sometimes people's opinions are looks that we intercept and assign dialogue to. Sometimes we don't need to assign dialogue, because a person has let us clearly know with their own words what they think of us and our actions. They've administered advice with out any grace or bedside panache.

So, we end up making decisions from a standpoint of fear. And this is what the Bible has to say about that...

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe. (Proverbs 29:25)

Guilt is more of a self administered poison. And it is a poison. Because we manage to to steal our own joy and peace and contentment.

Instead of focusing on the positive, we are living in the negative. It is living a life of scarcity rather than enough and abundance. We play a reel of what we can't do and what we aren't doing, instead of what we can do and what we are doing.

It is rather depressing actually.

A while back our marriage counsellor had us pick out a trait for each other from Colossians 3. Something that we need to work on. Mr. Hippie picked peace for me. I think of that quite often.

Choose peace instead of guilt. Choose peace instead of fear. Choose peace instead of stress.

Choose joy. Choose to enjoy the moment and be happy in it. Choose not to think thoughts of if only.

Choose contentment. I've given what I've given, and done what I've done, and it can be enough.

What are you choosing today?