I meet up with many parents who disclose that their child is a drug addict and as they speak, I can hear their cries of guilt as if they did something wrong. Perhaps that is so, but we can only do the best we can with what we have in each situation. One of our older adoptive daughter’s spews angry hurtful words about my husband and I and her childhood years. Sadly she does not speak of any of the good. We refuse to allow her words and angry heart to hurt us. We put our heart, soul and energy into each of our children, taking the time to understand their hearts and speak life into their young lives.

Psychology Today states “Guilt and its handmaiden, shame, can paralyze us–or catalyze us into action. Appropriate guilt can…spur one to make reparations for wrongs. Excessive rumination about one’s failures, however, is a surefire recipe for resentment and depression.

There is great controversy regarding New Year’s Resolutions because of their usefulness and people’s ability/desire/will to follow through. Therefore, guilt often ensues. Guilt can be a byproduct of not doing what we know or feel we should be doing. Guilt usually brings us down rather than uplifts. The point of New Year’s Resolutions is to give us a fresh start. We can give ourselves a fresh start any time of the year but the New Year is an obvious new beginning. The key to goals is to have smaller, easier to manage, objectives to build up to the goal you want to achieve.

When I was young, my father once told me he wanted me to be a better person than he is. I took that to heart and went to college because he did not have that opportunity. Throughout my life, I have tried to improve upon what he has taught me and showed me by his example. Now, I tell my children that I want them to be better people than I am.

Don’t let guilt hold you down and paralyze you – allow it to catapult you into change !

Happy New Year !

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