Harshness and Guilt

Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

As for me, it makes the guilt grow larger… as each day away whips me with guilt.

I have been berating myself for days, literally days and days and days, which have turned into weeks and weeks and weeks.

The “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” that comes in streams and fits, followed by the guilt. Guilt only a Jewish grandmother could inflict. And I ought to know, since I grew up in a Jewish neighborhood; riding the waves of do’s, but more importantly, the DO NOT’s. These were stamped on our foreheads- edicts for the day, the week, the month, our lives.

Do not neglect your duties.

So here am I battered and bruised- but what concern is that of yours? Sharing the burden with you would just produce more guilt, but then again, why should I suffer alone? I will drag you along with me. I berate myself, “Stop being such a namby-pamby and get over it.”

Yeah- Get over it! There is no reason to heap guilt like gravy on mashed potatoes. No, need at all. No explanation needed, well, maybe just one.

It is, was, and always will be about fear; fear of judgment. Yet, why worry about that, I heap enough condemnation upon myself, right? Hmm, no answer required. I already knew the answer before I asked it.

Damn girl, get over yourself, and do what you are called to do. It may only touch one or two but it reaches out and touches souls.

Wow, I start and they take over my pen. Praise God and his holy angels for them interceding in my life.

I am sure, you, like me, have been harsh on yourself- it is so easy to find fault with ourselves. I hear the amen chorus.

In the midst of my guilt, I had a vision; I was having a conversation with Jesus. I plead with him to help me with all of the parts of myself that I didn’t like. In reply, he took a big eraser and started deleting the parts of me that I found ugly or offensive.

First, to go was my hair; that dull, lifeless mop. I was bald. OK, I thought, better than the mess I had before. Next he rid me of my eyebrows; strange that my face lost so much expressiveness without those hairy caterpillars. Then he went after every wrinkle and extra fleshy, fatty area. I hardly recognized myself without such substance to critique and criticize. Next, he took away all my pain, but along with it, he erased the parts of me that feel pain. He worked and worked ridding me of every part that I had bemoaned about. At the end of the day I was feeling very tried, and so Jesus decided to rest.

After all, what more could he take? There wasn’t much left; just two weather worn hands and two painful feet. Suddenly a child was standing in front of me. He wanted to look upon me and gaze into my eyes. These, he wants to look into these wrinkled wells of yesterday, I thought to myself. Then I heard God speak to me, “Careful child or they’ll go too. Lost they will be with each complaining plea. Better to rejoice in all you have and all there is to be found.”

Then the vision ended.

It may have been just a vision but it was very real and I know God was speaking to me through it. It made me realize that I need to be kind to myself, and in addition, feel thankful for each laugh line on my face and wisdom wrinkle on my hands. I know with all my heart that I need to be nice to myself. And so do you!

We need to love and appreciate all of our parts that were gloriously made in his image. Thank God for me. Thank God for you!

Thanks for reading,

Juju

Postscript: Now that I am a Ya-Ya (grandmother), I know that my grandchildren look at me through the eyes of love. I am so thankful for each of them and love them with all my heart.

2 thoughts on “Harshness and Guilt

  1. Oh Beautiful One!
    We are ever so harsh with ourselves. Who needs the world to tell us we are not worthy, when we do that just fine all by our selves…
    Indeed I would not trade a single wrinkle or spot, I have earned every one of them. I am learning once more, to Be GENTLE with my self again. Be Gentle…
    MWAH! Tons of love and hugs.

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