Recently, there was a letter that he wrote to a woman who had expressed her concern about her own heart because she was pregnant and wished that she wasn't.
His response included the line above.
And it has not only stayed with me but has been coming up in various places time and time again.
We all have immediate responses to things, don't we? That emotional reaction.
And there is no reason to feel guilty for those momentary, fleeting feelings or wishes or desires.
It's when we hold on to them that a problem arises.
Sometimes, I have a fleeting thought that perhaps... maybe... just for a moment...
I don't want to be a mom anymore.
Those are hard words to say. Sometimes I can crack jokes about the stresses of parenthood. But sometimes, I really have a momentary thought of just running away or somehow just not being a mom.
And then I feel guilty.
Because what kind of mom would ever think such a thing?
But this reminder... I don't embrace that wish. I don't embrace that momentary wish at all.
Which means there is no room for guilt in my response.
Sometimes, I want to go buy and eat a Medium bag of Peanut M&M's. And then I start to beat myself up for considerin git when I am working on eating better, being healthier.
But I don't go buy the candy. And I don't pig out on a replacement. And with a little prayer and focus, my momentary wish passes and there is no room for guilt.
"As to wishing it had not happened, one can’t help momentary wishes: guilt begins only when one embraces them. You can’t help their knocking at the door, but one mustn’t ask them in to lunch. And no doubt you have many feelings on the other side. I am sure you felt as I did when I heard my first bullet, ‘This is War: this is what Homer wrote about.’ For, all said and done, a woman who has never had a baby and a man who has never been either in a battle or a storm at sea, are, in a sense, rather outside—haven’t really ‘seen life’—haven’t served. We will indeed have you in our prayers."
"And no doubt you have many feelings on the other side."
That's another really important point, isn't it?
When I have that momentary wish of not being a mom anymore... the flip side is that I would never give up being a mom, that I would literally die to save my children, that my kids fill my heart with joy and love.
When I have that momentary wish of snarfing down a large bag of candy... the feelings on the other side are the pride I have in my accomplishments, the strength I have in knowing that I can choose something beneficial rather than unnecessary.
No embracing, no guilt.
Focus on the other feelings.
That's some common sense I can definitely use in my life.