Guilt is an Option
Recently it was parents’ weekend at Weston’s college and I was in Europe. I didn’t go.
Did I start to feel guilty?
Was this guilt justified?
Guilt is healthy when we’ve done something morally or ethically wrong.
Let me say that again. Guilt is healthy when we’ve done something morally or ethically wrong.
Is the converse true? I think so. Guilt isn’t healthy when we haven’t done something morally or ethically wrong.
So I had to talk myself through my feelings to arrive at a healthy and reasonable conclusion.
I was disappointed that I missed the weekend. I also acknowledged that Weston probably missed me that weekend. Healthy feelings. Healthy acknowledgements.
Yet, I was on an epic trip, traveling with my friend. She and I had both gone through devastating relationship losses. We needed this. Healthy feelings. Healthy acknowledgements.
I reminded myself that I spent almost a week with Weston on a road trip to his school at the end of August. We rode e-bikes in Zion and caught a sunset at the Grand Canyon. Then I spent days in 108 degree temperatures helping him set up his room and getting settled. You’re a good mom, Elida. You were responsible and you celebrated his achievements and made sure he was on his way.
I also reminded myself that when I explained to Weston that I was walking a pilgrimage to Santiago, Spain, he texted me:
“Mom, you’re the coolest mom in the world.”
I realized that maybe I was doing a lot for Weston in modeling how to spend my time, in communicating to him that he is very important to me but my spiritual life is important too. Perhaps I was doing more for him in Europe than if I were there on parents' weekend.
We can’t do everything and we can’t be everything.
But we can take responsibility for our choices and stand behind them. We can choose how those things will affect us. We can choose the option of NOT feeling guilty when that is a reasonable conclusion.
I’m guessing that mom-guilt is something that we all feel.
And unjustified guilt might be keeping you from living your best and most inspirational life. When you find yourself starting to feel bad about doing something important or choosing something that you need over something your kid wants, ask yourself this question:
“Am I doing anything morally or ethically wrong?”
If the answer is “No”...then go do it!
In the end, you’ll be more fulfilled AND you’ll be someone your kids will aspire to be like.
If you need a reset, an epic event that inspires you, a journey that will transform the way you see your life, consider joining us on our next tours to Italy.
Say “Yes” and don’t you dare feel guilty about it.
P.S. There are only a few spots left. Sign up now. You won’t have to wake up in the morning with that regret of not doing something adventurous!