Author: Luisa Perkins
•10:00 PM
Well, I won't say 'absolutely nothing,' as I would if I were correctly paraphrasing the song, but it's not good for much, in my opinion.

Kimberly at Temporary?Insanity (brilliant, funny, and gorgeous: she's a regular trifecta) suggested that I write about guilt in relation to being a wife, mother, and woman. It's late; I've had a vey full Sunday, and Patrick is dying for us to turn out the light, so I'll be quick. And I won't feel bad about it, either. Why? Because I can only do what I can do.

If feelings of remorse cause you to make amends for something bad you did, great. But if you're feeling guilty about something you're not willing to change, why? 'Remove the layer of self-criticism,' a wise friend once counseled me.

So you're not the best laundress, or you don't bake from scratch, or you're not willing to give up MnMs. You don't change your own oil, or you pay someone else to mow your lawn, or you don't know HTML. Get fine with it and save the energy you are spending on guilt and use it in a positive way for something you really care about. Beating yourself up gets you nowhere but down.

I'm not saying we shouldn't constantly be striving for self-improvement. I am saying that guilt is a poor motivator. So if it doesn't work, ditch it and walk away smiling.

I know: easier written than done. But all we can do is try every day, right?
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On 11/11/07 , Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I couldn't agree more!

On 11/11/07 , dawn said...

Good post. Guilt is a useless emotion to carry. You either fix what might cause you guilt, or you choose not to feel the guilt. My brother said something like this a number of years back (Undergraduate Psych degree), and it has stuck with me.

On 12/11/07 , PEZmama said...

I think one thing that people forget is that guilt can be useful. It is true that many times we feel guilty for things we shouldn't, but sometimes we feel guilty because WE ARE and we need to make something right (as you mentioned in your post.)

I say this only because I think sometimes people don't want to own their guilt - it would mean they have to deal with their own junk. Instead they blame someone else for the fact that they feel guilty and totally miss the point of why they felt guilty in the first place. They miss out on their chance to grwo as a person.

Am I making sense?

On 12/11/07 , Sirdar said...

Good post. If I feel guilt is it because I am my own worst critic. I'm not sure why that is but I have a few thoughts on that subject...and my father would be part of that.

I've had to work hard to overcome some guilt. But in reality, it isn't really guilt. I just feel that I can do better. I just need to come to grips that I am doing OK and don't need to feel guilty for not doing the unreasonable.

OK Lucy...where do you want me to put the nickel.... :-)

On 12/11/07 , Kimberly said...

For a short post that was simply brilliant. I'm going to work on putting that advice into application, right this very moment even. Oh, and I'm blushing like mad, you sweet creature you.

On 12/11/07 , Self Help Zone said...

Hi Luisa,

An awesome post to boost self confidence... thank you...

Positive influences are those things that we do or say that make us feel good about others or ourselves. Positive influences can shape good personal character.

On 12/11/07 , NH Knitting Mama said...

Wow, I never thought of guilt this way, but it sure makes sense. Thanks for these pearls!

On 12/11/07 , Anne Bradshaw said...

Interesting post, Luisa. You're right on the button as usual.

Hey, you just have to hop on over to my blog today and listen to a Welsh singer. He is AMAZING!

On 12/11/07 , Annette Lyon said...

Ditto. Guilt is a God-given tool for a specific purpose, and flogging oneself is NOT it.

I am hereby NOT feeling guilty for not sorting that basket of laundry right now. I'm going to do some revisions instead. :)

On 12/11/07 , Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Excellent advice.

On 15/11/07 , Brillig said...

I'm now feeling guilty about all that guilt I'm carrying around.

That was your purpose, right?


Kidding, of course. Loved this. (And thank goodness I know some HTML and I'm doing my laundry [yes, it's midnight. What's your point] because otherwise your list would describe me perfectly...)