Growing up, if I didn't want to finish everything on my plate, I got the "There are starving children in China who would love to have what you plan on throwing away" comment from my mother. Ah....guilt!! Isn't it amazing how we have all been subjected to it in one form or another? Why is it so effective? Sometimes it's self-induced. Sometimes others try (and succeed) to "guiltify" us. Now if I go back to the things I've read, I'll realize that ALL guilt is self-induced. Whether it's because we don't want to disappoint others or we don't want to disappoint ourselves, almost all of us are subject to feelings of guilt. (Many of you know my feelings about the word "disappoint". But that's a subject of another blog entry). But why is guilt so controlling? I will never forget the time when my daughter turned to me and said, "All my life, I have tried to do what pleases either you or Dad. It's time I did what pleases me." She meant no disrepect. In fact, what she was telling me was that she respected me, but she also wanted to respect herself by honoring what her true wants were. And shouldn't we all just want that for the ones we love - to follow and do what their true wants are? I'm proud that she "stood up" for what was important to her. And it's made me much more aware of not laying down guilt trips. When your little ones start to practice words that they hear from others, there are times you have to tell them that a word they just repeated was a "not nice" word. Maybe the word "guilt" should be one of 'em.