MARK’S ARTICLE – Febrary 10, 2010
How do you handle guilt? Pretty well? Don’t let it fester? Hold onto it for a second and then let it go? Looks like a few of you.
Well, you oughtta teach a class. I might even attend. Second thought, no I won’t. But, I will feel guilty for not. I’m a mess. I could go to my closet of the mind and drag out a buncha guilt that I’ve been holding onto forever. Stuff from back in my kid days, most of which I’ve written about. Doesn’t help. It stays in storage.
Several things have touched off this week’s guilt topic. Haiti for one. Have you heard about that? Thought so. The news breaks my heart. Yet, you’ve got people in the U.S. adopting Haitian children; doctors flying over there donating their time and supplies; firemen and other rescue personnel helping dig through the rubble.
Kay and I have thrown a little money at the problem and said some serious prayers, but haven't yet stepped out of our comfort zone to do much. Don’t know what to do, and scared of someone telling me what I could do. Shovel on the guilt.
Saw in the paper today a story about a kid riding his bicycle around the park trying to raise money for the relief effort. There’s a guy at church who got together some medical supplies and commandeered a plane to fly the supplies to Port-au-Prince.
If I had the money to do that, I still wouldn’t do it. I might hire somebody to do it, but I wouldn’t tackle something that required so much effort. Same reason I won’t personally paint my house. Way too much effort. If I can’t afford to hire the job out, it’s not going to happen.
So, I sit on the couch and the news of people starving, people horribly injured and people with absolutely nothing left of their lives, except their lives. I’m watching this during supper. “Oops, forgot the rolls. I’ll go get ‘em.”
More guilt. The kind that takes up residence, while doing little to spark one to action. It’s the worst kind. Psychologists will tell you to lose something like that. I imagine. That’s their job, isn’t it? Make you feel better about yourself.
So, I’ll keep my inaction concerning Haiti stored in the closet for a good while. Try to shove it way back there. Back behind the times I chose to lose contact with “close” friends; the times I treated rude people rudely; the times I provided an excellent example on how not to handle a situation. It’s all up there… and in vivid detail.
I got into a heated argument last week. I didn’t think it was all that heated at the time, but Al assured me it was. I told myself to keep quiet during the whole thing. Didn’t help. Had to show that I was in the right. Accomplished absolutely nothing in doing so. I knew that at the time. I still did it. So, the guilt gets stuffed into the closet.
Weird how I can still find room for new stuff in that closet. Still haven’t tossed out the guilt concerning the time as a child when I told on Jill for something I did. Jill doesn’t remember the incident. She didn’t choose to store it her closet of jerks. Jill is a peach.
Me? I feel like the peach pit. Yeah, I think someone out there needs to teach a class in guilt. How to get it out of storage and then how to dispose of it. You need to make it sound easy, though. Anything requiring much effort is not likely to help. You’ll just be adding to the closet. You don’t wanna do that. – A prayer a blessing for the people of Haiti, and for all those working to make a difference.