Belated Wednesday pondering – on guilt

I know, it’s not the merriest of topics to ponder on a new year’s first day. To briefly explain my reasons for talking about this today, I’d have to share with you first the fact that I started my year in a sad way – one of my dogs, Nero, got scared because of all the fireworks and crackers and bangers and ran from my yard. I searched for him with my husband all around the place and couldn’t find him. So I cried, and guilt blossomed in me like the most fertile weed, reaching quickly within the farthest corners of my heart. I felt guilty because I felt that I failed to take care properly of my friend, I failed to soothe his fears when he needed it mostly. I felt guilty because all I could think about was him running scared and confused and not understanding “why” people have to make so much noise all of a sudden. I felt guilty because I didn’t anticipate such a level of fear and because I wasn’t there when it all happened. And no matter how much I searched for him, not being able to find him ate the heart out of me.

Last night I woke up feeling cold, and I thought that a window must have remained open through the night. In fact the front door was opened, and Nero was sleeping there, near the door, in the hall way. When I saw him I rushed towards him, wanting to take him in my arms, but first he pulled back, as if feeling ashamed and scared, and I realized that, in his animal innocence, he thought that he was going to be punished for fleeing the way that he did. And I felt awful, because it was never his fault in this entire situation.

NeroThis story fortunately had a happy ending. But guilt left its footprints all over my heart, and although it isn’t a pleasant thing, I think it proved itself to be useful, by making me more aware of certain aspects of life. Guilt can be an awkward feeling. Sometimes its effects are constructive, other times they simply destroy all in their path. They say that wounds heal, but scars remain. They are reminders of what happened, of the event that triggered the appearance of that scar. It is only up to us to learn from that and to try to avoid its happening again.

© 2013 Liliana Negoi

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The text is mine, the image was taken in August 2013 by my friend, Raluca :).

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