A friend and fellow blogger posted recently about her feelings of mom guilt. With a new baby and a career, these feelings are par for the course. I too struggle with mom guilt and balancing a career. I think these feelings are totally normal and expected.
Lately though, I feel like I'm struggling with friend, Christian, family guilt. I feel like I need to figure out where I went wrong in each relationship with my friends, family members, co workers, fellow Christians, and heck, the guy I don't let wash my windows on the way to Midway airport because I'm not going to pay him. We all know your windows look worse if you do anyway. Did my role in their life play a part in leading them to the sad state that they are currently in? If so, how?
Could I keep my friends from going into bankruptcy? Can I influence someone to go back to college? Did it really matter that I didn't give a dollar to the window guy?
I'm beginning to realize, and only recently, that I can't save the world. Who knew? Apparently, I didn't. We need to stop taking on everyone's burden. I'm reading a book called Boundaries. In the book, reference is made to a passage in scripture that refers to each person first carrying their own burdens, and only helping with the burdens that one cannot handle alone. This doesn't mean that we need to take on everyone else's struggles. We are there to help and support, but ultimately adults make their own decisions, and must therefore live with the consequences brought on by such choices. I cannot, should not, and will no longer adopt everyone else's crises as my own. I can do my best as a friend, family member, and good Christian, to assist in those burdens that need an extra set of hands, but I can't make them my own. While I may initially feel some guilt about this, in the end I will be healthier and happier for it.