paying off guilt ha ha ha

When I was young, I thought my career would be as a singer – and when I lost my voice, as a dancer – and when I ruptured a knee, as a painter. For each career that has been stopped I have harassed myself for not “fixing” the something that caused the breaks in my education as artist – that is, my possibilities to pay off guilt.

This night I lay listening to the big chorus of voices of everything I thought was important. Voices I believed in. This morning, I wondered what chained me to that choir – and when I asked the voices, I heard that they were convinced that they were guilty.

Suddenly it fell into place: of course it made sense for this part of the mind to be clever and help others and “use its resources” – sure! Nothing wrong with that-  but the huge pressure came from me giving the voices validity by believing that I in fact paid off guilt by each person I “helped”, by each creative “product” I made. I fed that guilt and pressure by believing that it could be paid off.

But by believing that it is possible to pay off guilt, I am keeping guilt real and alive in my mind.

I am seeing the image of a brook – it trickles freely and joyfully towards the sea, and boom, a big boulder lands in the brook and forces it to take new directions. Instead of cursing the block, and fretting about what “could have been,” I can choose to see that the new directions the brook took, forced me to find the darkness in my mind and childhood, and dealing with it in ways that has hugely enriched my life – and hundreds of others, I would like to think.

Now all I have to do when the onslaught of chaos thoughts come, is to remind myself gently that I am believing it is possible to pay off guilt by doing the right thing – and forgive myself for that.

And leave the rest to Blue.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pam
    Jun 08, 2011 @ 16:13:55

    “….the huge pressure came from me giving the voices validity by believing that I in fact paid off guilt by each person I “helped”, by each creative “product” I made. I fed that guilt and pressure by believing that it could be paid off.

    But by believing that it is possible to pay off guilt, I am keeping guilt real and alive in my mind.”

    Tis is now in my sticky note collection for a daily reminder. Thanks Big hugs

    Reply

  2. anil
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 02:09:33

    Nina – Was it the music playing in the background as I read your post, or my son sitting in my arms, or the smooth flow of your writing, or all of the above in some magical fusion that allowed your words to flow from the screen into my mind, smooth, steady and fully transferred, with out a missing drop or beat, like water pouring out of a jug into the cup ?

    Thank you,
    love,
    a

    Reply

  3. Kathleen Campbell
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 22:15:11

    I just love the “boulder and the brook” imagery in your story. Wonderful.
    That we can make deals with the ego is priceless too. We all try our own
    strange methods of cleaning up our guilty minds. The method I used the
    longest is staying drunk for sixteen years. This was my way of dealing
    with the mess. Avoid it and leave. But I came back. And here I am
    many years later talking with you kind and gentle folk.

    Kathleen

    Reply

  4. Bernard
    Jun 15, 2011 @ 13:27:18

    Like Kathleen, I love the image of the boulder, encouraging us all to discover new paths into our minds, showing us things we would not have seen if ‘confronted’ by success. And your thoughts about trying to pay off guilt – excellent!

    Reply

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Please note that nothing written here is intended as medical advice. Readers who think that they need help with a physical or psychological condition are advised to seek a qualified opinion.

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