“Guilt-The Gift that Keeps On Giving”

Dear Reader:

Haven’t we heard conversations in which people jokingly talk about their problems with guilt by throwing out lines like the title one today by Erma Bombeck?  Or they might say:

“Oh, I’ve got major Catholic guilt…the discipline that rules large families” or “I’ve got major Jewish guilt…it goes along with chicken soup.”

Since I am personally a little worrier with a long-term in-built guilt syndrome…I find myself explaining my issues by saying “I’m Scottish…what can I say…my life is driven by guilt and worries.”

Like Erma Bombeck…most of us as adults have come to terms with left-over childhood guilt “infusions” by parents wanting to impress the “error of our ways” deep into our psyches… with all the best intentions.

Adult issues today with guilt…are not as much embedded childhood issues but the lack of understanding about the difference between guilt and shame.

Brene Brown in her second life lesson seminar explains it this way.

I’m just going to say it: I’m pro-guilt. Guilt is good. Guilt helps us stay on track because it’s about our behavior. It occurs when we compare something we’ve done—or failed to do—with our personal values. The discomfort that results often motivates real change, amends and self-reflection.

Brene goes on to explain that humans confuse guilt with shame...and they are two completely different “animals.”

Here is one example she gives on how to tell the difference between the two terms… why a little guilt can be self-motivating whereas shame is a chronic feeling of worthlessness that prohibits us from following our pursuits of happiness and passion. It is a negative way in which we measure ourselves.

“A clear way to see the difference is to think about this question: If you made a mistake that really hurt someone’s feelings, would you be willing to say, “I’m sorry. I made a mistake”? If you’re experiencing guilt, the answer is yes: “I made a mistake.”

Shame, on the other hand, is “I’m sorry. I am a mistake.” Shame doesn’t just sound different than guilt; it feels different. Once we understand this distinction, guilt can even make us feel more positive about ourselves, because it points to the gap between what we did and who we are—and, thankfully, we can change what we do.”


Here are some catch-up photos from a busy weekend…but a fun one.

Tommy and Kaitlyn bit the bullet and made a “little” trip to Bennetsville to get their first vaccine…they have been searching consistently all over the internet for openings and with business at a peak with so many clients buying and selling homes… they felt strongly that they really needed to get started on the vaccine. Am proud of you both….for taking action and making the world a little safer for it.

After spending a good portion of the day in the car…Tommy came home to see that Butch, his father-in-law had managed to put a sofa (with more screws and bolts ‘than the law allows’ ) together (Way to go Butch!)…so glad my gift housewarming pillows match!

Tommy sent me two photos yesterday….letting me know that Pip has already claimed the sofa and pillows as his sleeping place…he loves it.

Seize the day with Eloise….Saturday was cleaning fairies, playing “mommy” and the piano…romping in the garden and always trying to imitate a big brother with clown noses.

After the birthday party Lachlan joined us…we simply must find a green shamrock to go on his hat since St. Patrick’s Day is his birthday… Lachlan is part-monkey ….no way around it! 🙂

After the Dingles left…they went by a friend’s home to pick up Rutledge and look what Eloise discovered that delighted her beyond measure.

And now my tribute to my garden photos….

Don’t we have a beautiful state “flowering vine?”

Good night O’ Garden of Refuge and Sanctuary

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “Guilt-The Gift that Keeps On Giving”

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

  2. Becky Dingle says:

    Have a great day…am babysitting again! 🙂

  3. Honey Burrell says:

    Wonderful times! Beautiful pictures!! So happy T and K got their vaccines. Tarshie is once again at home for a week of quarantine. One of her soccer players tested positive. So Tarsh, the team and 5 classes of 7th graders are out! If only that mom would have acknowledged the symptoms and kept her girl home!
    Love to you on this cloudy Monday.❤️

    • Becky Dingle says:

      So frustrating! I have been babysitting a lot…with schools closed for different teacher vaccination days and half days….but so far no quarantines for covid….Poor Tarshie…I know that gets old….FAST! I want to blink and have everyone vaccinated and a feeling of safety return again.

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