It’s amazing how often I’ve caught myself imposing “should”s in my own life… And it’s a habit that is neither helpful, nor based in reality. But it happens…and I’m especially reminded around the holidays.
For one thing, I feel like every time I check out somewhere I’m asked if I want to make a donation to a charity. For another, it’s holiday season… This time of year comes part and parcel with the ringing of bells. Incessant ringing, and I don’t mean Santa OR his sleigh.
Stationed outside each supermarket (which I frequent nearly every day of the week!) will undoubtedly be a Salvation Army post for a bundled individual and a hanging donation bucket. For whatever the reason – and it’s definitely self-imposed – I always find myself feeling guilty when I pass by…or I say “no thank you, not today.” You probably do the same thing…pour a bucket of guilt over yourself for no good reason…?
We collectively need to STOP doing that!
I find myself reasoning it out – audibly sometimes, though mostly internally….
I don’t really know the charities some places are asking for money in support of. I remind myself that we give to a lot of charities, and physically volunteer. On a regular basis! We do it because we love to help and to make a difference, so that should be enough.
What’s with all the guilt then?! Am I embarrassed that someone will think I’m a cold-hearted person? Is it because I think I don’t do enough? Honestly, I think it’s a little bit of both…but I *try* to stop myself these days because:
- I have come to admit that I’m unjustly punishing myself and feeling guilty for no reason
- I know I give and that is (or, here we go with the s-word, “should” be) enough
- It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks – I never owe anyone an explanation or justification for my choices. Neither do you!
- We don’t do any of it for the recognition, but rather to make a positive impact…so the audience isn’t necessary, and I don’t have to burden myself with that aspect of it
- We also – and this is a big one – don’t have to spread ourselves thin financially, physically, or otherwise to prove to anyone that we’re a good people! We already know that about ourselves…!
So when you say “no” at the checkout, or pass by the ringing bells… Or if you don’t chose to throw money to a friend raising some for their own favorite cause…BE OKAY WITH THAT. (I’m saying that to myself too!)
You don’t need to feel guilty. . . or wrong. . .or less-than. You do what you can, when you can. You work hard for what you earn and you aren’t a bad person for wanting to save up some of that for yourself, your family, and your future.
So let’s stop with the self-deprecation. We DON’T deserve it.
We all have charities in which we believe…
We all do our part, and our best to help where we can.
And…should we be unable or unwilling, that is perfectly, 1,000% OKAY.