When does one go on a guilt trip? When you cheat, or lie, or pretend or may be just indulge in some extra chocolates? Or when you back bite, gossip, malign or fake? All of these overlap and seem very petty when we think of this one big guilt trip that we take due to wasted time – the one we take when we fail to live up to our potential. It shakes the mind and stirs the soul.
Who defines the potential? You – How you define whether you have reached your potential for the day? The level for a day is achieved if you are not guilty about the way you spent it. It is a self-correcting mechanism uniquely in built in us by the Creator.
The problem is when you do not acknowledge the guilt to self and shift the blame on other people and situations. In reality though, a large part of it can be influenced by you.
Sounds like boring theory!! Here are some instances which we witness in our day to day life and you will be surprised how it correlates to the above. How you are actually empowered to choose otherwise:
The traffic is pressing; all you can see is flashing red lights. You are busy cribbing in the backseat; sweating while the A.C is still on, your only companion is a google map that is showing the same time even if you check like 100 times. There are many options while you are stuck this way like music, downloaded audios on topics of your interest or books. Choose otherwise.
You are a group of friends. A plan is made without asking you. You come to know once they have already left and out of courtesy they ask you to join mid- way. You feel terrible and want to just shun them. Alternatively you can give them a benefit of doubt and if convenient for you, you can actually join them. Why read between the lines when it is a one off instance? Choose otherwise.
You have good command on English. You use it for the benefit of your kids, your family and for yourself when you interact with others. But is this enough? Can you not let others benefit from your skill like friends, or the lesser privileged around you to help them communicate better? Parallely you should also do yourself a favour by polishing your language further. Choose otherwise.
You are an entrepreneur with a set schedule. An idea strikes you, which will give your business a new exposure but it requires taking a plunge and putting in extra brainwork. Also you need to convince others in the office about its workability. Too much work and investment also, so better stay where we are, why to disturb the flow? Easy way out, but is it the right way? Why not give it a shot with full enthusiasm? Choose otherwise.
Your child is average in studies. You see other kids around prospering. Naturally a parent sulks and ends up getting trapped in a circle of comparison. Another way could be to put in efforts and understand what he/she enjoys. Giving time to the child’s interest and facilitating him to outshine. Choose otherwise.
You love to dance. You have spent your entire life looking at performances and wanting to do the same. But you are worried that you will be judged by people around if you join a class. The idea itself is a presumption, leave the anxiety behind. Choose otherwise.
You have a terminally ill patient at home. Life has come to a standstill. Your entire time and energy is sucked in taking care of the patient. But when you are into it, drown yourself in the same by reading out to the patient, taking him/her out for walks, watch movies together. You may not enjoy it all the time but realize that it is a passing phase. Choose otherwise.
At the end of each of these instances you would have two options either feel guilty about the clumsiness with which you managed the situation or feel contended about the way you lived it. I am not saying that it is easy.
But as someone wisely said time is like the flowing river. No one can touch the same water twice. Time once gone is gone, when you know you have no way out; why not accept it in full grace? At least it leaves you with energy to think new. In that spirit may you actually find a way out and you may actually skip the guilt trip!!!