THERE’S SOMETHING INSIDE ME . . . WHERE CAN I RUN?

There’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

I went lone for a long ride under the dark sky,

Yet, there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

I dined out with friends at the five stars,

Yet, after leaving friends… there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

I took ten shots of Absinthe Hapsburg over loud music at the back,

Yet, as the hangover weakened… there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

To divert the mind and feel refresh, I paid her for that night,

Yet, at the day dawn… there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

The 10000-word speech of my friend sounded good,

Yet, after an hour… there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

There’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?

There’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?  

Navigating through such stories, it wouldn’t be wrong to quote finding medicines to aid the physical pain is easier whereas aiding the inner wounds are too difficult and impossible at times. Mostly, inner wounds are caused when we breach the ethical and moral boundaries of our life. Revaluating the intensity and the intention of a mistake happens later but initially, its repercussion dispenses a lot of pain to the perpetrator and the pain is felt more grievously when the soul is intended to live a good moral life.

I remember, once my friend used her friend’s debit card on her online shopping ID for her friend (the owner of the debit card) and unknowingly the card got auto-saved in the same ID. The next day, when my friend shopped for herself the money got debited from her friend’s debit card. Since for both of their debit cards, the last 3 numbers were the same and for easy memory, they both were using the same debit pin, the real debit card use went unnoticed. Alongside since she (the debit card owner) was a student so the phone number registered with the debit card belonged to her parents. This again created confusion of multiple unnecessary shopping between my friend’s friend and her parents and as she (debit card owner) reported my friend to check the shopping transaction, the matter intensified to mistrusting each other. After a thorough investigation, the real issue was unfolded. But by the time the misunderstandings and doubts had already wounded both of their hearts. Further, the incident of earlier blame game started convicting both the tender hearts for the punitive behavior shown to each other. Years of friendship and love were about to be pulled down because of some silly mistakes and the blames of their own heart was not letting them face each other. My friend’s heart was crying out – there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run? I know, it’s the GUILT of my heart! But how can I get heal of it?         

The 20th century famous American Writer Mark Twain said,

WE ARE ALIKE, ON THE INSIDE!

True indeed, long back when I was entangled with the repercussions of my mistake, it was the same cry – “There’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?”. As a matter of fact, the wound got so grievous that, on 13th March 2011, I attempt to draw the last line of my life seeking relief from “there’s something inside me… eating me. Where can I run?”

The second question of my friend puts it rightly, “it’s the GUILT of my heart! Which needs HEALING.”

Guilt is the repercussion of our mistakes where we are caught-hold by our wrong deeds. In the modern days’ excusable language, we consider it on the lighter notes – “mistakes/errors/wrong deeds/weakness/so-on-so-forth” but in its original application, it’s the “SIN OF HUMAN HEART”. Initially, knowingly/unknowingly the ‘SINS OF OUR HEART’ entices us to breach the ethical and moral boundaries of our life and later its repercussion starts blaming us and haunts us, which can be rightly termed as “GUILT”. At the point of guilt-feeling, our sins are known to us but our sinful acts need to be confessed, then only we can embrace the healing touch of living a guilt-free life.

God in the Bible has expressed before us His promise,

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD.

“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;

though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

Freedom from guilt is available in the confession of sins before God and the human against whom we have committed. It needs our belief in the promises of availing forgiveness and our courageous attempt for confession. “God has promised to forgive our sins and make us guilt-free and make it more evident to us for our trust upon Him. He (God) became man in the person Jesus – lived among us – took the wages of our sins and died on the Cross– availed us forgiveness through His (Jesus) resurrection from death as God.”

 

A MOTHER’S GUILT

Guilt is the feeling that comes when you fail to meet your own expectations. Understand that the feeling is an unmet expectation of yourself and not of the world. As a mother, I have felt guilty a number of times for leaving my son back home while I go to work. It is very common for a young mother to be tempted to quit her job and be with her baby at all times. I too had that temptation a million times. Well, but as they say feeling guilty is part of being a mother. Which guilt do you wish to live with, is the question to be rightly answered.

I have seen women who have felt extremely guilty for leaving their newborns in day cares or with maids so that they could work without an interruption. I also know of a lot women who feel guilty of leaving their shining careers because kids needed the attention at that time. So, when I became a mother I knew it is not glorious to do either of things. I need to choose which guilt is less and I am ok to live with.

And I chose to live with the guilt of leaving my son at home and focusing on my work.
Summer vacations are coming up and that is always a tricky time because it is impossible to keep the kids engaged at all times. Since last year my in-laws take my son to their place and he lives with them for a month or so during summer vacations. I have such fond memories of my summer vacations which were always with my parents and I want the same for my child; so it is a difficult decision for me.

However, I know that I cannot be at home for a month or even work from home for that long – and with that thought I let him go. The thoughts like “I am a bad mother, I am a selfish mother, and he is going to miss me so much, how he will stay without me etc.” are  devilish thoughts that I deal with every day. But I must do what I must do. My son is quite happy with his grandparents and he likes to be with them. He misses me but not as much as I fear. But the feeling still kills me.

I am sure there are many such moms like me who are struggling. But remember it is the quality of time that matters not the quantity. Kids grow up as long as they have right people to take care of them. So as long as you trust your child’s caretaker – go ahead for your take on the world. And if you are the mother who feels guilty of letting your own career down for the sake of the kid – believe in your choice. You know the best for your child and you will provide the best for him/her.

Choose which guilty road you are willing to take because I have learnt that feeling guilty is part of being a woman. Mother’s guilt is only natural and is the consequence of wanting to be a good mother to your child.

 

MOTHERHOOD AND GUILT ARE INSEPARABLE

Being a mom, you are going to be bombarded with so much guilt for everything you do to everything you don’t do.

Nearly, 90% of moms feel guilty- And yes it is not a surprising element. Right from giving birth, breastfeeding, parenting, helicopter parenting and much more, you will stumble every now and then with guilt.

When pregnancy starts, it begins creeping into the thoughts.

“Oh, I didn’t have this, my child would have got better eyes, lips..etc”

“Oh, I should have lost enough weight,so that I would not have gained this much during pregnancy, now how I am gonna take care of myself and my kids . . .”

Blah… blah… blah…

A lot many thoughts keep conflicting the mind, rather than focussing on the real thing.

Again, after giving birth, most moms around 10 % or so, struggle with breastfeeding, some do not have enough supplement, that they have to start on formula milk, some do feed enough that the baby is growing fatter… and much more..

The list just prolongs from then, there is never an end to it.

Again the common guilt which is prevailing is when a mother is back to work. The guilt is much heavier than an atom bomb, it just breaks away the confidence and the mother’s dreams, that finally she gives up, the hopes and be a dedicated mom.

But again, it is not the end of the story – the guilt is inseparable.

When kids grow up, the mother again feels lonelier and again guilty of giving up her career, and then finally not able to give a kick start to it, because she keeps blaming herself for all the decisions she took in her life.

So what’s the story now?

Why do women, especially moms feel the guilt?

Is it because she doesn’t do her things well enough? Or,

Is it the society, who is grading the moms?

People tend to forget that moms are also humans, they also have their share of life. All they need is some time on their own, a job to make them independent to boost their self-confidence. And they just need slight support, not huge though.

So moms, just chill, if you are feeling guilty;

  • Firstly you do an excellent job, being a mom.
  • It is not easy just being mom, it takes up so much effort and you are the best at it.
  • Remember that your happy mind keeps everyone around you happy. So smile, take your own time and chill out.
  • Not breastfeeding is not the end of the world. Somethings are not in your hands. There are thousands of women who are not able to lactate, and it is not their fault.
  • Parenting is indeed a mess, you fall in uninvited, but yes, you might take your time to gather around and swim across to the shore.
  • Do not compare your parenting with others, you need not be guilty for your choices if you know you cannot control it.

Moreover, it is not in your hands that, the people around you are beguiled by the traditional patriarchal child-rearing setup, which is mostly triggered by maternal guilt rather than parental guilt.

Leave the idea of perfectionism, rather than focus on what is good for the child.

Just ignore your guilt and then focus on your child. Guilt gives you nothing, your child will give you the universe of happiness.

GO GUILT-FREE

Have you ever seen a child or a person stammering when he or she lied or done something wrong? When they walk, they look here and there… They speak with their eyes looking at the ground… They avoid other’s questions or interrogation…

It is our conscience that makes us feel like that. Our conscience is the only thing that speaks to us when we are all alone. It is a gift from God. A clear CONSCIENCE is a true friend which always speaks the truth and shows the things that are good and bad. When we are at fault, our guilt conscience makes us struggle to face people. As our guilt consciousness creates a barrier between us with the people around us. Guilt doesn’t allow us to live or walk or speak freely or at liberty. It binds us with a guilty feeling. It takes away our independence. It captivates our mind and soul.

But it is important for all of us to understand our guilt, because it can build us as well as can ruin us completely.

True guilt always leads us to true repentance. True repentance leads us to confessing of our misdeeds or sin and which ultimately leads to forgiveness and restoration… Restoration from being guilty, from a strained relationship and restored to have a clean conscience.

But there is something called false guilt according to June Hunt, one of my favourite personalities among all, who is an author, counsellor and the founder of ‘Hope for the Heart’ organisation that has been helping numerous people in desperation.

She warns about a few false guilt feelings which should not be within our hearts troubling us till the end…

She warns –

  • False Guilt is based on self-condemning feelings that you have not lived up to your own expectations or those of someone else.
  • False Guilt arises when you blame yourself, even though you’ve committed no wrong, or even though you’ve confessed and turned from your sin.
  • False Guilt keeps you in bondage to three destructive weapons – shame, fear, and anger.
  • False Guilt, ironically, is not resolved by confession. (The past keeps coming up again and again) 

False guilt can lead a person to depression and spiritual paralysis. False guilt tends to be very “me-centered,” rather than God-centered. And it makes the person feel that God has left him or her.

Now, this is alarming and false guilt consciousness can be fatal. But in my opinion whether is true or false guilt it should be dealt carefully and needed to be given up at once or else it will literally torment the person day and night and ruin his or her life.

It is not very easy to get rid of guilts. It stays like, forever…

Usually, when I struggle with guilt, a true guilt and I have the realisation that I have wronged a person, I search for opportunity to ask forgiveness from him and restore my relationship with him or her and go guilt free. Trust me, you need guts to ask forgiveness. It is good that we have plenty of options to say sorry these days. Previously, we had only two options – face the person or write a note. But these days, we have Whatsapp, email, messenger and many more options to ask forgiveness genuinely. But nothing can replace the joy of restoration when we are in persons.

Many a times, I have struggled with false guilt, feeling responsible of something which was not in my control. There was a sister like friend who committed suicide and I felt guilty of not paying attention to her when she wanted to share her heart. For quite a long time, I was troubled but later I shifted that guilt into a responsibility or task in hand to train myself well to be sensitive to the needs of people. And I succeeded in my endeavour by God’s grace.

You heard it right, God’s grace is the best cure to our guilt. Once our vertical relationship is smooth and free flowing, our horizontal relationships become alright automatically.

Lastly, if we really want to go guilt-free or lead a guilt free life then we should follow the instruction given as under:

“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things; center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart.”

Let’s take responsibility of living with a renewed mind and conscience by focussing on things of higher values, following which are good and live a transformed and guilt-free life.

Stay Blessed!

I DIDN’T DO IT; I AM A NARCISST

I heard someone tell me that when you have the guts to do something or say something then learn to say that “Yes, I did that.” In simple words ‘Own It’. But to accept one’s mistake and take its blame is not as easy as taking credit for all the good you did. Wanting others to see what you see and hear what you hear with your mindset is not an easy feat. This freedom to believe what you want is a matter of Free Will, and when we know we can’t tamper with other Free Will too, that’s where ‘Blame Shifting’ comes in.

Blame shifting is a phenomenon that is often linked with Narcissism. They tend to substitute their culpability to others. You see, it’s convenient. Shifting blame to victims is useful because it allows you to be free of any guilt and the cumbersome task of taking any responsibility or alteration plus let’s agree, it saves your face. You don’t have to go through the humiliation of being wrong or being unruly. Another reason is, narcissists are very good in vindicating everything. They can find 1001 reasons why everybody but them is to accuse. And they aren’t perturbed or fretful by the fact; it’s just an illusion they created for themselves.

They can’t see any imperfections in themselves, they have glorified themselves so much that they see themselves as ideal. So instead of condemning themselves, they criticise others. This is called Alloplastic Defense, which means they hold the world accountable for their problems, not themselves.

Narcissism is an actual condition, called NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) What we call “blame shifting” they call “protecting themselves”. While you call yourself a victim, they know that the real victim is them. You are trying to make them feel bad, guilty, or trap them. You are the manipulator. You are the instigator of this conflict. Why are you doing this to them?

Lies are just lies. They happen. There are so many ways to victimise; the NPD isn’t even aware of the fact that he/she is doing it. An NPD doesn’t (generally) intend to hurt anyone, they merely want to do what they want to do, and so they do it. What do other people have to do with that? None of their business.

Deceiving, evading, being insensitive… none of those is done to hurt people; they are solely ways for the NPD to pursue and project the life they feel they ought to have.

So, if you “attack” someone with NPD by saying, “You did something that hurt me,” their instinct is to call you the liar and utterly destroy you for trying to make them feel bad about themselves.

Since they lack “Purpose Integrity”— the ability to maintain favourable feelings about a person throughout a range of situations or distance—if you are attacking, you are the enemy. You must be destroyed.

After all, if they didn’t mean to hurt you, you shouldn’t be hurt.

But let us not forget a few things here. Not all crimes or mistakes are enormous; some are pretty small and modest, especially when done by kids. They often almost expect a parent to come to their aid.

Until my father passed away, I felt very protected and very secure. The reason being, he never blamed me for anything, be it my natural mistakes or the ruckus I deliberately or unintentionally created. He would just tell my Mom that he broke the vase, he spilt the milk, he forgot to recharge the phone, or he was the person who stained her saree. But while we were alone, and Mom was away he would lovingly tell me that it was wrong to do that, I shouldn’t have done it, and if I do it again, he won’t come to my rescue. And I very firmly believe that his way of saving me a scolding and disgrace but guiding to the right path made me the person I am. Today I am not afraid to accept 100% responsibility for the wrongs I did.

These benign incidents between a family that hurt no ones feeling, in particular, aren’t the source of anyone’s agony.

But yes,

For anyone who is a victim or a scapegoat…

Save the need for answers. Do not get quicksand in need of validation.

Save the questions. It perpetuates the vicious cycle of everything being about them.

Reverse your thought processes and make everything about you.

Get OUT. Survive.

Then go back to the whys, they won’t matter anyway. Until you are Free.

(PICTURE CREDIT: GOOGLE INC.)

Quote of the day

Acceptance of being guilty and wrong requires far more courage than fighting an obvious enemy.

LOVE PEOPLE, USE THINGS

A short story –

There was a happily married couple and on their 10th marriage anniversary the husband decided to gift a car to his wife. It was an expensive yellow colored Mini Cooper just like she had always dreamt of. He was excited to see her reaction on seeing the car.

Finally the day came – the day of their 10th marriage anniversary. And the husband proudly handed over the keys to the wife and she was just puzzled. She noticed the key ring and her hopes started to get high but she kept her calm till she actually saw her dream car right outside the gate. She screamed with joy, hugged and kissed her husband. Her happiness knew no bounds.

She started to use the car and one fine day while she was driving after a hectic day, she was struggling to keep her eyes open. She was so sleepy that she could hardly concentrate on the road. She stopped for a while and took a few sips of water. Just 4 kms away was her home, so she decided to continue driving and not stop for tea or something. But in no time she dozed off on the wheel and hit the car on the rear of a truck right in front of her.

She couldn’t stop weeping, people collected around the accident spot. Many people offered her help, asking her if she was ok. She did not reply to anybody. She wasn’t hurt physically but her heart broke to see the condition of her brand new Cooper. What would her husband say to this? The car wasn’t even a week old. After a few minutes, she gathered all her senses and she knew that she had to call the service center to take the car for repair. So she opened the dashboard and took out the papers – registrations papers, insurance papers and among all these she saw a red envelope.

“Dear Jane,

If you have opened this dashboard and you are looking for insurance papers or service center papers, I know that you are in trouble. I hope it is not an accident but if it is – then first of all please calm yourself down. Make sure that you are not hurt anywhere. Please ask for medical help if you need any. Also look around if anybody else is hurt apart from you.

And if the car is damaged – DO NOT WORRY about it. It is only a car which is meant to take you from one place to another safely. If the car is broken and you are safe that means the car did a good job in saving you. Do not think a bit about the expense of the car or expense of getting it repaired. Be thankful that you are safe and sound.

Now before you call up the service center or the insurance, I want you to go to the doctor. We will deal with the car damage later.

Your’s lovingly,

Dave”

Jane started to cry even more but inside her heart she knew that she felt extremely relieved. That tension of “How will Dave react?” had disappeared. She realized that he was right. She hadn’t notice that her right arm was bleeding and there was pain on right side of her head. She heeded to her husband’s advice and took a cab to the doctor.

And they lived happily ever after. One of the reasons for that is Dave’s attitude.

THE END

How many husbands today would have done what Dave did? How many of us are guilty of scolding and hitting children when they unintentionally broke our phones, TV or that expensive dinner set? How many of us are always comparing the prices of their own household items with that of their friends? How many of us are more concerned about that little scratch on our car than the person who is bleeding due to the accident?

It is important that we remember

“Objects /things are supposed to be used and people are supposed to be loved” – but very often the phrase is just the other way round – we are too busy using people and loving our things.

Let us try to set this right in our own small way.