Again a weekend away with my friends. Again a huge amount of learning. Where would we be without friends?
We had an innocuous conversation over dinner one night. Innocuous, and yet, for some reason I felt guilty about it.
I felt guilty about it, and perhaps nobody else ever would. As we all know, I’m one of those people whose guilt-o-meter is set much too sensitive and whose ability to extrapolate what I did wrong in any situation is industrial-strength. And not in a good way.
What I’ve learned is to observe myself and my – often extreme and unnecessary – initial reactions. And to call them out. To myself and others.
I told my friends about the guilt that was surging inside me. “What?” they asked. “Why do you feel guilty about that?”
I didn’t know why, and I told them that. And, as always, one friend stepped in and reframed it for me.
“Wow,” she said. “What I hear is a huge heart and caring and a concern not to hurt others, even in what you say that has very little, or nothing, to do with them.”
“Wow,” I thought. I never saw it that way. I was caught either in seeing myself as someone who was doing something wrong and therefore deserved to feel guilty, or as someone whose guilt-o-meter was set way too sensitive and therefore to feel a bit unworthy about that. A bit as if I “still hadn’t gotten over my junk” and still was somehow damaged. I never thought to see myself as someone who had a huge heart and who went out of my way to be as kind and gentle and loving as I could.
As always, it depends on how you look at things. And as always, it helps to see how others see things, to call out my sometimes warped sense of reality.
Where would we be without friends?
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