Passing the buck.
Sometimes we allow others to make us feel completely responsible for the problems in our businesses, friendships, or personal life affairs. The burden of guilt envelops us robbing us of the stamina we need to continue on.
Then the wrestling match with the ‘What ifs’ begins in full force. ‘What ifs’ assault us robbing us of our peace. They spiral in a downward circuit dragging us to a first class seat of despondency. What are we to do with this imposed translucent mask of guilt?
Stop the madness.
Daniel’s fork fetish.
My autistic son has a fork fetish. He hordes forks in his room and in the most unusual hiding places. When he first began this habit I was constantly taking forks away from him.
“No Daniel”, I scolded, “We use the forks to eat.”
One day I woke up and there was not one piece of silverware in the house. All of the utensils had simply vanished. I was dumbfounded. A little later that day I heard Daniel’s familiar clanking. Of course he had mysteriously acquired two metal forks. Where he got them from was beyond me. I took them away only to hear him within thirty minutes clanking two more forks together. I decided to play detective.
Come to find out, Daniel had buried the silverware in an obscure place on the side of the house. Autistic children have brilliant minds. With a suppressed grin, I reprimanded Daniel about the buried silverware and life went on.
The blame game.
About a month later I went in my silverware drawer and noticed that all of my spoons were gone.
“Daniel” I screamed, “Please show Mother where the spoons are.”
He looked up at me and just stared at my face blankly. I knew he had hidden those spoons somewhere. We walked the perimeter of the yard. I was looking for a mound of dug up dirt. We searched the entire house as Daniel clapped and hummed to himself, completely ignoring me.
I was getting annoyed. I finally set him down and went into a long discourse about how he shouldn’t take the spoons and we need them to eat our cereal when his older brother Caleb wandered into the room. He stood there and spoke in his usual direct manner.
“Mother, I have the spoons. I put them in the car so we can get ice cream on the way back home tonight.”
Daniel was made guilty by association. Many of us have been judged that way also. When guilt is unjustly laid at your door, don’t answer. Be like Daniel. Ignore it. The burden of guilt you have for the mistakes you’ve made is heavy enough. There is no need to overload the wagon with unfounded accusations from others.
People have a subtle way of imposing their thoughts on you; usually when they won’t take responsibility for their own mistakes and the guilt that follows. Don’t allow anyone to transfer their guilt to you.
When you are trying to move forward and pull out of the muck of transferred guilt, the only benefit of ‘what ifs’ is to not wallow in things beyond your control. It’s more productive to exchange ‘what ifs’ and ‘could haves’ with ‘what happened was’ and ‘now I will’. Make a careful dissection between what was in your control and what is not.
Remember life is most enjoyable when there is heart, beauty, and true confidence.
*This post first appeared on Jennings Wire where Justina is a contributing blogger.