During her funeral Mass, the Priest accurately identified my friend Mela’s super power as LOVE. Mela loved her family, her friends, her co-workers, patients and learning. She was a nuclear explosion of love. I’m still hearing about people she taught, helped, supported and loved unconditionally. There is a positive fallout of love in our community, thanks to Mela being in it.
I’m sad to have to identify (again) my super power as guilt. One of the songs composed and played over and over again in my mind is “Guilty.” The opening line is: “Guilty, I feel so guilty; I feel like everyone I know can see right through me.” I don’t need to have a specific deed to motivate my feelings of guilt – it’s more of a perpetual state of being. Whatever I do, I feel guilty about doing it, or about what I didn’t get done while doing what I was doing. It makes my head spin.
I cleaned the grout between my floor tile this week. It was the last item on my list of “Things to Get Done Early In Retirement.” I had initially intended to complete the list in my first year of retirement, but allowed myself an additional year, because the first year of my retirement was hijacked by my husband’s illness and death (that was not nice to him – or me). I retired November 30th, 2018. I cannot tell a lie (well, I can, but I then feel guilty and tell whomever I lied to, that I had lied), I cleaned the tile on the day after November 30th, 2020. My brother suggested that perhaps this is one of those years with 31 days in November. He’s very familiar with my overly-developed sense of guilt. I managed to feel guilty anyway, because the finished product (freshly-cleaned grout) didn’t look much better than the pre-cleaned grout (I should have scrubbed harder). I also worried that Cinnamon might walk across the floor with the freshly-cleaned grout and get grout-cleaning chemicals on her paws, and then lick her paws and become ill. After all, I only rinsed and mopped the floors four times to remove grout-cleaning chemicals. I should have gone for five. Grout cleaning is neither effort, nor guilt free.
Guilt has its attributes. The fear of being found guilty in a court of law discourages (or should discourage) law breaking. Not keeping a commitment, and the subsequent feelings of guilt, encourages me to keep my commitments. I have kept commitments when I shouldn’t have; like going to a gathering when I had a cold, and later finding out that other gathering attendees came down with colds. I sure feel guilty when that happens. On the plus side, I’ve stuck pretty close to home during the pandemic. I feel guilty when I go out.
I wish there was a super power exchange shop. I would love to exchange my super power. I would walk right past “The Greats:” great beauty, great intelligence, great charm. It would be difficult to walk past great luck, or great creativity (I’ve always wanted to be a great writer, and/or independently wealthy), but I must. I wouldn’t even slow down for great strength, because that too would probably result in too much work. I’m pretty judgmental (I feel guilty about it), so I don’t need to go for the super power level on that one or the other less-than-positive super powers. I will aspire to love everyone (I believe that God is Love, and I like the idea of having that Superhero in my life) but I’m going to pass on that one for my super power, too (loving too much can hurt). I want Lego-like super POWERS! One limb can be honesty; one limb can be empathy, one limb can be (I can’t resist) creativity and my last limb can be guilt (I would feel guilty if I abandoned it all together). My head? – I AM going with LOVE.
Come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together, try to love one another right now (from “Get Together” by Chet Powers). Life is good, but it can be even better.