Hey, maybe your next topic can be guilt. Here's what I say about guilt and you can quote me on it.
Guilt is what a person feels when their actions conflict with their values.
We are not responsible for creating those negative feelings, they are generated within the person by their own response due to whatever reason... We can't make them feel bad about not nursing, they already do. That's why they have a defensive reaction. We are not responsible for protecting their feelings. If someone has a negative response to being presented with simple information, that is definitely their own personal issue.
If a mom is at peace with herself and her parenting decisions, nothing anybody else says will mean much to her, let alone "make" her feel an emotion she didn't feel before.
For example, I sure don't feel guilty for not spanking even though lots of people have told me I'm wrong and my kids will suffer from a "lack of discipline". Nothing anyone else says matters. I know my actions are in line with my values and therefore I will not experience guilt over it.
Feelings are generated internally, we can't give someone else feelings of guilt. When guilt happens, it's a normal and healthy signal from yourself to pay attention to the fact that you are acting in a way you believe is not right.
|"Try to remember that our society encourages women to cultivate guilt like a little flower garden, because nothing blocks the awareness and expression of legitimate anger as effectively as this all-consuming emotion."|
I think when we cultivate that garden, we may be calling it guilt but to me, that's not guilt, it's shame- when women are encouraged by society to feel badly about themselves (and society does that so well in so many different ways) -that is something completely different - you can be shamed by others even when you know you didn't do wrong, especially those you look to as authority figures. And it is surely true that a person that has been handed a burden of shame is not a person to stand up for themselves in anger. Quite the convenient mechanism for keeping mouths quiet if you don't want to hear what they have to say.
How that plays in concert with true guilt, I wonder. Guilt is a real signal to do better next time, but how can you do better next time without moving through the stages to progress - shame in not succeeding handed to you from the very society that sets women up to fail - to realize it was more complex than you having made one simple choice, that there is appropriate anger to acknowledge and express, then to get beyond that anger and learn what went wrong and how to do better....