…I simply had to let her go.
Our relationship had reached the point where it had gone way beyond ‘unhealthy’ and had become an unbalanced portion of my time & energy.
I’ll describe some of our interactions…
“So exactly how MUCH time did you spend with your children today?”
“Well, we had some quality time together. I know it wasn’t much, but this weekend I’ll have more time for them.”
“What kind of Mother only spends brief time periods with her children!!? You really need to get a handle on your schedule. Aren’t your children important to you?”
The frustrating part was that whenever I turned things around, and the pendulum swung the opposite direction, she would give me the same sort of twisted argument.
“So…you spent ALL of your time playing with the kids today?”
“Well, yes…we had a great time reading, and then a fun family hike.”
“Hmmph...it seems if you were a little LESS concerned with your own children, and a little MORE concerned with other hurting people you would be a bit more purposeful…don’t you think? You can be so selfish at times...”
She sometimes talked in waves of sympathy for my plight, but often she had this ‘nagging voice’ and her words would re-play…over…and over in my head.
“You’re not a good mother!”
“You can’t possibly call yourself a good friend!”
“What kind of Christian does THOSE kinds of things anyway? When are you going to get it together?!”
“You call your house clean! Have you ever seen ‘so & so’s’ place…yours is way too disorganized. And who taught you to fold laundry like that?”
“You spend way too much money on yourself; you should have given that last ten bucks away instead of buying that new top...”
“Why didn’t you think to call her? I’m sure she would have appreciated a thoughtful call in her time of need…you can be so selfish!”
And on & on she would continue...
Even when I felt like I should withdraw from her presence, I would find she would just ‘show up’ in other well-meaning peoples’ conversations.
“How come you never call me anymore? Is it because you don’t have time for anything except this homeschool thing now?”
“How about you take on ‘such & such’ project? I’m sure if you would be a wise use of your time. If there’s anyone who can do it, it’s you!”
…maybe you recognize her voice in one form or another…
Her name is Mrs. Guilt-trip. And she likes to visit those of us who haven’t learned to let her go.
The more you speak with her on a regular basis, well the more ‘territory’ in your thinking you will give her.
I simply stopped listening to her. I would hear her voice rise up in the back of mind as I was making a decision, and I simply ignored her.
Now don’t misunderstand me. There is a big difference between appropriate God-given guilt over a situation where we ‘have missed the mark’ and need to apologize to someone.
Mrs. Guilt-trip takes things a bit farther…to the place where if you allow her to, you will begin to believe the lie that NO matter WHAT you attempt, you are not GOOD ENOUGH!
So if you’re like me & tired of this ole’ friend...
Take a lesson from me, and simply let her go. It’s time to move on.
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