Wednesday, September 01, 2010

GUILT PURSUED

The thoughtful comments to the last post here and at my main blog are forcing me to look further into this murky topic. Having established that what my own particular guilt-harpy keeps harping about is that I'm guilty of Squandering My Gifts and Not Living Up to My Potential the logical next question is: what exactly are these gifts or potential which I'm supposedly not living up to? Do they exist at all or are they yet another mirage? Another false concept plugged into my brain by the competitive, egocentric, celebrity-obsessed culture we live in? 

Well, you know, maybe. But I don't think so. What I think, what I know gut-wise, is that I really do have gifts I'm not using. It's not vanity or arrogance to say so because gifts are gifts and the real reason why the exasperating little guilt-bug keeps buzzing around me is because it knows that I know that I'm built to fly but settle for crawling - I crawl very well but that ain't flying - and I'm designed to burn bright but settle for flickering, a flicker flicker here, a flicker there. 

You may say ah, but that's what we are: crawling, flickering creatures, doing our best against all the odds. Well if that's what you'll say, I'll have to disagree. Because what I really know down in my deepest of deep guts is that many of us have a locked cellar full of unused gifts - or maybe just one unused gift. It's not a thing, not even a talent, but a degree of feeling. It doesn't necessarily mean achievement or success in worldly terms. It means being willing to risk flying, Icarus-like.

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7 comments:

Rain said...

Well I am one who believes in living each day and trying to not either live in the past or the future. If you do that, then all you have room for is feeling guilty that that particular day you are not doing what you feel you should. You don't assess the past for what you failed as it's gone and done. You don't look to the future for what you might not do as maybe by then you will be doing it. Guilt, I think, lives more in the past or future than the present because the present we can do something about. The other two might hound us with shoulda but today we can do it. We cannot control what others do or how they see it but we can do it for this one day if no other... and on it goes.

Natalie said...

Rain, I completely agree! I've just answered Beth's comment, which is similar to yours, on the main Blaugustine blog.
It looks like my two posts about guilt have been somewhat misinterpreted. I use this sort of exaggerated, illustrated reflection as a way to explore patterns of thinking and to move on. I don't spend my time worrying about past failures or future ones, not at all! On the contrary.

Rachel Fox said...

Interesting that we often think of flying when we think of...getting it right, doing our best, breaking through and so on. There's no reason to really... but we do.
As someone who had a bird phobia for years and who isn't keen on being in aeroplanes I have a very mixed relationship with flying! I have a flying poem (or two) too of course.
x

Natalie said...

Rachel, it's true, flying seems to stand for a lot more than getting off the earth. I used to have a recurrent dream that all I had to do was flap my feet (as when swimming) and then I'd rise up and float in the air, but only a few feet above the ground. It was so easy and enjoyable, when I woke up I was sure I could do it. H'mmm...obvious interpretation? It doesn't take grandiose schemes/dreams to achieve something 'out of the ordinary'?

Rachel Fox said...

I think you made me end up posting about flying all week on my blog!
x

Natalie said...

Rachel,what did you write about flying? I can't seem to connect to the link for your blog.

Rachel Fox said...

It was mainly songs connected with flying...but there was one poem (a light-hearted one really) and then, more recently, a striving poem (which I guess is also linked).
The blog is here
http://crowd-pleasers.blogspot.com/

x