I had an interesting teaching moment the other day while at my daughter’s basketball game. While watching the game I chatted with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile ‘cause we were out of town for a week. After we caught up she went to sit back with her family. As she walked back to her seat my eyes drifted into staring into space as my mind went through a series of thoughts…
“Gosh Jamie, what is wrong with you. You didn’t even hug her and you used to be a “huggy” person, and you used to be so warm and open all the time. But today you just seem so vacant.”
As I was off in “guiltland”, staring into space I missed my daughters first basket(in a game) on her basketball team. Boy was I bummed, now I had something new to feel guilty about and that was guilty for being distracted by my guilt.
Now who knows all the answers to what makes me who I am today as to why I am not as
“huggy” and why I can be distant at times. It could have been something as simple as I was distracted by work or lack of sleep from the night before combined with exhaustion from traveling. Or maybe it is more complex. I know some of my own “bumps” and “bruises” through my life has caused me to be less “huggy” and more guarded, sometimes without even meaning to be. There are many avenues I could analyze if I wanted to, but this is not where my lesson of my day lies. The real lesson is how the guilt we carry, whether it be from 15 years ago or events 15 minutes ago, causes us to miss out on the moments today. I literally missed a “moment”, a real live moment while I was focused in guilt and discontentment with myself. This moment was very obvious to me and I was able to use it as a powerful teaching moment for myself, however, often times our guilt can be much more subtle. Sometimes guilt keeps us from fully living and enjoying life. Sometimes guilt lingers subtly and we don’t even realize it’s destruction. Many of us have operated with guilt for so long it just seems normal. We don’t even realize it’s there because it has become a “normal” feeling. If I choose to carry guilt with me it becomes a like backpack of weight. I can walk, and even use my arms, but I can’t run and jump freely and I get tired quicker than if I was free from the weight.
But if you could imagine letting that go. If you imagine what it would be like to be truly content with who you are, mistakes and all, simply learning from those moments of guilt and moving on. If you can imagine, how great would that feel, how much more of life’s moments would you fully experience?
And to all you moms out there, Mom guilt is worth letting go also. I’m not saying I am good at it. Obviously I struggle, you can see that from this blog, but I have seen and felt what it is like to empty that backpack at times. And my goal is to get better at letting go everyday.