Friday, March 13, 2020

Celebrating the freeing sacrament

I was brought up in a guilt ridden nation.  It was spiritually toxic. Now add to fear, and shame you have what I like to call "the toxic trinity." Guilt, fear and shame were ever present in the family and society I was born and raised in for 23 years.  The "toxic trinity" is still an ever present reality in my life. Over the years, I have through grace, been able to develop the tools necessary for first of all survival, and now for the enjoyment and celebration of life.  Guilt is healthy when it leads us to ownership, responsibility, and the need to change our behavior.  It is toxic when we blame ourselves for something we did not freely do, or when we are held responsible, blamed for something we had no intention to happen.  How much death dealing toxic guilt is in our lives when we hold ourselves responsible for the feelings of others?  We are not responsible for the feelings of others.  As we are responsible for our own feelings, and cannot blame anybody for how we choose to feel, so too you are not anybody's scapegoat to be punished.  Here we have grown so much over these last number of years in our understanding of healthy boundaries.  They are our defense against guilt trips and guilt trip agents.  How many "Guilt trip agents" remain in our heads is our free choice.  The courage to ignore and turn a deaf ear to the presence of these guilt agents is a LEARNED behavior.  You ever so pain-fully slowly develop the ability to not answer the phone, or develop the freedom to hang up. We need to learn to step away, and disengage from a toxic presence.

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