Guilty of what I wonder?
I was disturbed a while back about a gag pop psychology joke that was being passed around the office regarding Marion, Robin Hood, Little John and the Sheriff. I cannot recall what the exact circumstances were, but there was a questionable behaviour pattern set up and you had to make a call as to whom you thought was the most moral of the bunch. With the answer I gave I was “diagnosed” as having a massive guilt complex arising from my childhood and/or my past experiences. I dismissed it out of hand, believing that my morals are based not on guilt, but rather on a sound set of principles as to what is right and wrong. I understand that on occasion I may have standards that are too high or even unattainable, however I think that I am a pretty moral person and am guided by intellectually selected patterns of behaviour.

But the bug was in my ear and I have been thinking about my guilt over the past few days. My childhood was flawless, I was a good boy in school, although my effort was lacking at times, but my behaviour was acceptable and I fit into the mold of the average kid. Once I hit puberty, I think things started to get a little out of control. I did some things for which I have forgiven myself, and I am sure for which my parents have forgiven me also, but I definitely do feel a sense of regret as some of my actions. I am not talking about overwhelming guilt here, though, but I can see that a measure of my behaviour nowadays can be attributed to lessons I learned from my wayward days as an adolescent. Surely this is the voice of experience, not of guilt though right? I mean to say that I have made peace with my demons and have settled the score with my conscience.

Psychologically speaking, guilt comes from a overburdened conscience and unresolved feelings of wrongdoing. There are one of those things here, at least not that I can fathom from my outpost. But maybe I could be wrong. Maybe there is a part of me that feels guilt at the shortcomings or the wrongdoings of my chequered history. There is possibly a part of me that feels inadequate for the times that I could not support myself or the times I had to be given the helping hand, and maybe I feel as though I don’t deserve the enjoyment of “permissive morals” and therefore I keep myself on a tight leash. I am not sure. I was immediately offended by the deduction derived from the game, and I think it took some time before I was able to admit that maybe there was something to it.

The only real benefit I can see from all this is that I am finally at a place where I am able to sit back and look at things objectively without any weight or burden upon me. My shoulders are as light as they have ever been, and maybe this is the right time to examine some of the ghosts of my past and put their issues to bed.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.