They may not do it intentionally, but there are times when they will do things and say things to try to get their way; (it seems to be a return to their childhood in some ways).
We can end up reacting to the buttons they learn to push to get us to do what they want. It often causes hardship to our personal life, yet we may refuse to see it for what it is.
Worse, we may refuse to take appropriate action to ensure that it doesn’t keep happening, and we find ourselves in a tunnel of guilt we have allowed.
Others in our family or our friends can also heap guilt on us, with judgments and criticism. They may mean well, but the truth is; they are looking at the situation from the outside in; they aren’t dealing with your situation every day as you are.
During the years I took care of my mother, I found myself in this cycle of guilt, and it took some time and being honest with myself to find some solutions. There were days that I would rather not live through again, and there is still a little part of me that still feels a twinge every now and then. But I survived the journey, and I am here to tell every one of you out there that there is help for you.
Once I was able to recognize that guilt existed within me, I had to also realize that no one gave it to me. Guilt is a self-made emotion. We do it to ourselves. We take those words, or actions of others and internalize them. Probably because we are looking for a reason to be guilty. Whatever the reason is that we allowed it to develop, it is wasted energy. It is energy that we could be using for good, healthy, and, productive outlets. These are the tips I’ve found helps to overcome the temptation to let guilt take over.
1. Do not go to bed feeling guilty. Every day I asked God to help me for the strength and wisdom to care for my mother the best I could and get thru the day. Whatever mistakes happened, I cannot change them; if I know I tried my best, don’t allow guilt to fester.
2. Never mind what other’s may have to say about what your doing, or how your doing it. YOU are the one living in the situation every day, and only you know what it takes to get thru the events of each day, and what your loved one’s needs are.
3. What you know about your actions is all that matters. If you know you have done your best in the situations you’ve faced today, don’t allow judgment of other’s to torment your mind. Be at peace with yourself.
4. If you know you have perhaps lost your patience with your parent or loved one your caring for, or you’ve made a mistake; take it to God, and ask Him for His forgiveness, and for His strength and wisdom to do better, and then leave it with Him. Trust Him to give the help you need. His shoulders are big enough to carry your burden.
So the next time guilt comes knocking at your door, don't answer it. Leave it outside where it belongs. And when you put your head down on that pillow tonight, rest easy knowing that you are doing the very best that you can with what you have been given.