Guilt and Freedom

“I don’t tell you what to do and I’d appreciate it if you’d return the favor”. His eyes flashed with a repressed fury I had never witnessed before. We were sitting in the porch swing on an evening in the first months of our married life. My gentle comment suggesting that smoking less would be good for his health, drew forth this honest and true response. It has been a corner stone of our marriage ever since.

Recently, he and a friend were struggling mightily to replace a defunct washing machine. Moving the waterlogged thing was not easy. My normal instinct would be to hover in the back ground waiting to be called upon, or to be hard at work in equivalence with their hard work. I cannot rest if someone else is working or there is work to be done. No slacking! This does not mean I work efficiently – it means I have a constant feeling of guilt especially if someone else is working.

A friend of mine going through an emotionally  demanding life transition came to visit. I sat with her on the porch and we chatted. I jumped to fulfill occasional requests from the workers – “ Libby, can you find me a long nail?” , “Libby,  do you know where the short level is?” Richard is not an enthusiastic handyman.

How glorious it was to know that Richard was not judging me for sitting around while he was working. To know that he was not critical of me not working at my “job”, my art work – while he was working on maintenance. How marvelous to know that he was not thinking I should be doing something else.

I  had to work to pacify the naggers in my head. I have known others who did not comprehend nor give the magnificent gift of freedom.

The picture shows a broken toy gun. A marvelous symbol of Peace on Earth. I live in a peaceful world and I give thanks. I “pray” that peace goes outward.img_2890

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