I'm still learning to let go of the guilt I feel for grieving him during a pandemic.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle is an active process; no one can force anyone else -- no matter how much they love them -- to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Your loved one has to be at least interested in having the "health conversation." Health is a process, and in order for long-term changes to occur, the person must want to -- and be ready to -- be part of the process... The million-dollar question becomes, how do you support a loved one's journey to become fit, without them feeling judged, belittled, and criticized?
Guilt and regret are the ugly Hyde to the Jekyll of sobriety, even years in. With new awareness, we relive past experiences---or in many cases bemoan what might have been. Pain and sorrow previously numbed by a drug or drink of choice is glaringly present, and strikes unpredictably---in the midst of a family gathering; alone, late at night; smack in the middle of an important work presentation, or during a particularly deep yoga class.
Who doesn't want to be close to their mother, especially on Mother's Day? But for thousands it's just not possible. Being with Mom hurts too much. Her "love" is toxic. It causes too much emotional pain. No time is this more controversial and guilt-inducing than on Mother's Day.
Alzheimer's caregivers are amazingly successful at juggling all of the things necessary to meet the needs of their loved one, but each day they're simultaneously learning how to juggle the many emotions they experience. Anger, guilt, fear and frustration are just a few of the complex emotional balls they are trying so hard to keep in the air.
We can be so successfully manipulated that we see our guilt as coming from our own conscience, when in reality, we've just been subtly (or not so subtly) coerced to act out someone else's agenda.
Because of the tremendous load caregivers sometimes take on, they are more likely than their non-carer counterparts to develop mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. These websites and apps aim to make those days more manageable.
There are no polarities when it comes to twins. No "good" one vs. "bad one;" no angelic child versus evil spawn, no duelling forces, vying for the top spot in their respective categories. There are just kids, warts, scabbed knees and all. Though the mythology and expectation of opposite-minded twin siblings is appealing to some, it is, fortunately, untrue.
Sure, Santa may determine that a child's behaviour is not up to snuff and is therefore a reason to deny said child of gifts on Christmas Day. But why does Santa have to be the judge, jury and (figurative) executioner on December 25th? Whatever happened to parental responsibility and the ability to look one's child in the eye in an attempt to deliver the verdict?
I am not saying that we should not strive to be the very best people and professionals we can be. This is not a call to "lean out." By all means, let's strive to be amazing, but let's also aspire to be more gentle with ourselves and with others.