Holidays tend to bring out the best and the worst in people. At least, this is true for the people I know, and certainly for myself. During this break I have begun to realize a few things about myself that I never realized before. The one that hit me last night was that I am a person highly motivated by guilt. Over 50% of what I do is motivated by fear of the guilt I will feel if I do not do it, or by the need to make up for something else I did or didn’t do recently. I am in bondage.
I don’t play guitar anymore because I feel guilty for playing before doing my other work. (Homework for example.) On the other hand, I feel guilty that my instrument is left alone except for the occasion that my husband decides to play it instead of his own guitar. I feel guilty for doing homework instead of housework, housework instead of homework, hanging out with friends instead of making dinner, making dinner instead of spending quality time with my friends. I feel guilty for not reading when I am on vacation, or for reading when I should be spending time with the family, or again, working on homework. It works back and forth, forwards and in reverse, so that no matter what I do, I am doing it out of guilt—meanwhile feeling guilty for not using that time to do something else.
And what am I to do? Torn back and forth between the things that I ‘should’ do and want to do? I was talking to my husband last night and he was gracious enough to say this. “Grace, I love you for who you are and not for what you can accomplish.” This led me to another realization: I think that who I am is based off of what I can accomplish. WOW. To leave my self worth is such shaky hands as my own!
I write this because I know that I am not alone in this realization. Perhaps this is the very reason why we as Americans are the workaholics that we are. I know that my guilt stems from my own deeply rooted perfectionism, and I know that there are certainly others of you out there who struggle with the same thing. But in the midst of the ‘do’s’ and ‘do-nots’; the ‘shoulds’ and the ‘shouldn’ts’— lets take this thanksgiving break to thank the God that made us and loves us for WHO WE ARE and NOT for what we can accomplish. He died for each and every one of us because he loved US. Just who we are, the people that He created. The children that He loves more dearly than Himself.