My best friend is a monster. Really. She is. I’ve known her most of my life. Honestly, not sure when I first met her but it’s been forever ago. I’m honestly not even sure why I call her a friend. She’s not very nice. She hangs around all the time when she’s not invited. She’s constantly interrupting my thoughts. Heck, sometimes she interrupts my peaceful showers. She’s always reminding me of the things I haven’t done. Or the things others do better than me. She compares me to friends, tells me they are better than me. She’s a real jerk.
So, who is this chick? Um. Well. You see, her name is Guilt. Yeah. I know. I totally snared you with that title. I’m sorry. Great. Now Guilt is telling me I shouldn’t have tricked you.
What’s that? You know her, too? Let me guess, she’s telling you that you shouldn’t have fallen for that title trick again? Yeah, sounds about right.
Just for a moment – take a look around you. Take it all in. What’s Guilt saying to you now? For me, I hear her saying things like:
“The dishes need done. When was the last time you vacuumed? Seriously, when are you going to tackle that project you’ve been talking about doing for the last three months? Did you remember to hug all three kids goodnight?”
Whew. I struggle with Guilt. I really wish I could send her on her way, never to be seen again. But I know she’d only get as far as the next street intersection before I’d see someone post about a really fun craft project and she’d be right back looking over my shoulder saying, “Oh, look at that awesome mom doing all those fun things!”
So, while I may not be able to get rid of her entirely, I have learned some tricks to keep her at arm’s length.
One is saying “no”. Whew, that can be hard. When a friend wants to hang out and you’re oh so tired. It’s ok to say no. Guilt will try to sneak in. But you tell her to stop. It’s ok to need rest and your friend will understand.
Another way is to be joyful. Chose joy over guilt. When you see a post someone made of their home-baked goods, be glad for them that get to have that pleasure. When you put away that basket of laundry, have joy in something you’ve accomplished. Another is to ask for help. It’s ok. It really is. Ask your spouse, your neighbor, your sister, the kid down the street. When you ask for help, you’re telling that person “I need you”. And let’s be honest, we all like to hear that we are needed.
So, even though I’m not there yet, I’m trying really hard to move Guilt from best friend status to acquaintance status. Because no one wants to spend all their time with a monster!