About ten days ago, I posted the following as my Facebook status –
Laid a guilt trip on Matt this weekend. He called me out on it and also said I was good at doing that. I told him, “Well, of course I am. When your parents get divorced, God automatically gives you the ability to make people feel guilty, because He feels bad for you and He gives it to you to make up for your parents no longer being together.” Matt said, “I’m pretty sure that’s not true.” So, who agrees with me and who agrees with Matt? Weigh in below. And I promise if you agree with Matt, I won’t make you feel guilty about it. ☺
People commented that they thought what I wrote was funny, or they disagreed with me and agreed with my husband. A couple people wrote long paragraphs psycho-analyzing my reaction to my parents’ divorce and the state of my marriage.
I was, honestly, only trying to be funny. I often remark that God gives us things because He feels bad about something else that’s occurred. For example, He had someone come up with doughnuts because He felt bad about the incident with the serpent, Eve, and the apple. He allowed Lake Tahoe to be located where it is because He knew one day America would draw boundary lines around the ugliest section of the country, call it “Nevada”, and He wanted the people of that state to have SOMETHING they could be happy about. See? He’s very fair, God.
But I got to thinking about the time immediately following my parent’s divorce. I remember moping around the house one day. My mom asked me what was wrong. I sighed deeply, then said, “I just miss Dad.”
I saw the look on my mom’s face, and that’s when I knew. I had an ability I hadn’t had before. I could now, with a well-placed word, look, or action, make someone feel diminished. Overwhelming guilt would envelop them. I had tremendous power. They would become my supplicant.
We all have power. Somehow, some way, somewhere, we can make people see us as superior. Is that a good thing? Probably, sometimes. But not when the woman who gave birth to you and filed for divorce because she deserved a better life than the one she’d been living, expresses concern for you.
Years later, guess what I realized? My “power” – that ability to guilt others into feeling inferior to me? Unless I use it for good (like God with the doughnuts and Lake Tahoe), it eventually makes ME feel guilty. I become the lesser person. And therefore, it isn’t a power at all. It is a weakness. One I am ashamed to possess.
Liked this post? Follow this blog to get more.