I was surprised when I looked up the definition of “guilt”in the Merriam Webster dictionary that there are three different definitions!
1 – “the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving a penalty”;
2- “the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously”;
3- “a feeling of deserving blame for offenses”.
Hmmmm. That’s not what I was expecting! I think many of us carry around – or have carried around the heavy coat of guilt at some point in our lives. I fear many of you reading this blog feel guilt today because you don’t feel like you’re doing enough for your aging mom or dad who needs care. But why do we feel guilty when we’ve done nothing wrong?! The three definitions of guilt are very clear “committed a breach of conduct”, “committed an offense”, and “a feeling of deserving blame for offenses”. We’ve broken no laws, and have not committed any offenses, yet we have a feeling of deserving blame. We don’t deserve that feeling. No one is to blame.
And that is why I believe GUILT is a four-letter word. It serves no purpose. It is a complete waste of time. Why do we do it to ourselves when we’ve done nothing to deserve it?! Does it help anyone? NO. It absolutely does not. Once we allow guilt into our lives, it can gradually take over. We love mom so much we want to do anything to help her, of course! But don’t feel bad when you can’t do everything to help her. How could you with all your personal obligations before you? Maybe you’re still working, have a home and yard to care for, grandchildren to love….your own life to live! Please don’t feel bad because you want to enjoy the life you have built for yourself. Your loved one would not want you to do that. She raised you to live your own life, and she would not want you to give up everything for her. She would not want you wrapped in guilt.
Our goal at The Lamoine is simple. We want to alleviate your guilt so you can get back to being a son or daughter, and continue to make memories you will cherish. We will take care of mom or dad as you have, and we’ll take care of you too. We hope you’ll stop by soon to take a look at our beautiful community we are so proud of!
In the meantime, remember to take care of YOU. Take a break every day. Plan fun visits with family and friends, and do try not to feel guilty. You need that time away – it helps you be a better caregiver.