Often times my clients will express feeling guilty for X Y Z (my code for “fill-in-the-blank”). To which I always say, “Stop.”
Guilt is a wasted energy.
Guilt robs you of your joy.
“I know it’s wasteful,” she said.
There should be no guilt or shame about making this choice for the family! It makes absolute sense. Six people can make a lot of dishes in one meal. Add in after school activities, homework, and just life, and I can easily understand this decision.
Instead of feeling guilt or shame about what you “should” or “shouldn’t” be doing, focus on the fact that it is even an option. Not everyone will agree with the choices you make for you and your family, but they don’t have to, and you don’t have to change what works for your family to accommodate anyone else’s ideas.
I say, embrace the fact that paper plates even exist! Be happy and grateful for it! Say thank you every time you eat from one – and mean it! No guilt or shame needed.
I had another client that has medical needs and the insurance company would ship her 4 things that goes with the one thing she actually used. It is wasteful, perhaps, but certainly not her fault. She tried to get the insurance company to only send what she needed, but they wouldn’t. She tried to find a place that accepted the items for free (to donate), no luck. So she ends up stock piling them because she feels guilty about throwing them away.
I can understand this line of thinking completely too. But to what end does one hold onto things? Until your room is full?
Let go of the guilt and get rid of it. If it’s plastic, drop it in your recycling bin and hope they will be able to recycle it. But let go of the guilt and unfounded responsibility that you are commissioned to find a home for the item you never even needed or asked for.
Instead, be grateful that the medical supplies exist! Be grateful that we live in a country that such supplies are easily available (compared to a majority of the rest of the world). Say thank you every time they arrive at your doorstep. Turn away from the guilt, and embrace the goodness of what the supplies really bring you.
I have found that when I am able to focus my attention on what I can be grateful for, and remove my focus from that which makes me unhappy – low and behold I feel better. Most of us are responsible people who strive to do our best in the world every day. If given the choice, we would rather not be wasteful, but we don’t have to sacrifice our sanity in an effort to not be wasteful.
Someone once asked me, how do I reconcile it with myself to throw away all that I do because of what I do? My response is this:
I do what I can, where I can, and that’s all I can do. Worrying about everything that we threw away that could have been recycled is a waste of my energy. I pray that what I do do offsets what I can’t do.
Have you ever heard of the Serenity Prayer?
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I can not change,
the courage to change
the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
It’s not called the Serenity Prayer on accident.They are words of wisdom!
Find what you can truly appreciate and be grateful in a situation, and let go of the guilt. It only holds you down. (and who’s got time for that?!)
Learn more about Maureen and organizing at www.katyhomeorganizer.com