KHP – An Easter Thought – Guilt and Renewal

KHP - This is where we were today.  An easter egg hunt at the stables near our home.  What is more empowering for a little girl than riding a great big horse.  Go PP!

KHP – This is where we were today. An easter egg hunt at the stables near our home. What is more empowering for a little girl than riding a great big horse. Go PP!

My name is Kristen Hennessy Pixler; I was born into a large Irish Catholic Family. In every fiber of my being I am a Hennessy.  My oldest brother was born on St. Patrick’s Day and his son was born on that special day as well.  I have two uncles that are Catholic priests and my father was in the seminary until his junior year in college.  I am not an acting Catholic but the traditions, morals, ethics, and personality traits trace as a thread throughout my cells that runs the lineage of my family.

I wonder where Catholic Guilt comes from but it is there in most of us who were raised in this religion.  It is not always a bad thing; it keeps us a considerate, conscientious group of folks.  I try to think of what my parents did to instill this guilt in us and I really cannot think of anything.  My parents taught us to work hard, to love even when it is hard to, to think of others, to put other’s needs above our own and to appreciate our beauty and talents and of those around us. As I have watched my children grow I know that there are certain traits that we are just born with and perhaps this is one that is passed down from generation to generation.

I fight with the balance between being sensitive and thinking of other’s and letting the guilt take over my life.  As I ran today, I realized that much of what has held me back in life revolves around this trait.  I am so worried about others I don’t take the time to prioritize my needs. This came to the surface when I had children.  There is a time period in every parent’s life that you have to dig deep, drop your past and embrace the present.  The present is beautiful it is full of moments that fill your soul.  Even in a state of blind exhaustion you plug on to take care of the greatest love of you life.  They need you and there is nothing in the world you would not do for them.  It is not easy but you get used to the schedule, you become immune to lack of sleep and nourishment.  You get so used to this state you forget any other way of life.

KHP - LP is just a little excited on her bunny eared pony.

KHP – LP is just a little excited on her bunny eared pony. I am still carving away but you all are sick of that image and these gals are too cute:)

I have always prioritized other people’s needs before my own. Now with my two little girls I have a very hard time breaking that mold.  I felt guilty leaving the house to workout or to drag them to a location to take pictures or work on my art rather than play with them.  I still figured out ways to get some of my needs taken care of but it was sporadic and inconsistent. Art and fitness take consistent daily training so my progress was limited and my frustration grew.  I know deep down that I can accomplish a lot as I work hard and have sacrificed but I never have made the stand to be a tad bit selfish.  Just writing it down gives me a surge of uncontrollable guilt.

Last year I started to take small steps to force myself to make my art and fitness a priority.  This year with the blog, it has helped solidify my plight.  I am realizing that my goals don’t have to be a conflict that my girls are proud of who and what I am.  They want me to do well and they like seeing me embrace my life and goals.  I have always known that modeling or showing good behaviors is more important than telling a child what they should do but sometimes it is hard to sift through what you are modeling.  It some cases you think you are modeling good behaviors of consideration and discipline when you are showing them your needs mean little.  Will they grow to be women that believe their needs mean nothing?

KHP - Easter and Spring in our house means lots and lots of bubbles!

KHP – Easter and Spring in our house means lots and lots of bubbles!

So, to my Catholic guilt, I have fought with you long enough.  I have beaten you down and you may pop back up in my life when I don’t expect it but I will beat you back down.  You are not good for my girls or me.  I want to rush into spring and celebrate Easter with love in my heart and share my joy with my friends and family.  I want to model love, acceptance and peace with my girls as I was taught from my parents but I want them to know their self worth and cut the thread of guilt.  Happy Easter!


About khpixler

Freelance artist, photographer, illustrator, designer, athlete, wife and mom of two beautiful girls. Trying to make it daily.
This entry was posted in Art, Kristen P., Motherhood, Photography, Running, Self-Care and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to KHP – An Easter Thought – Guilt and Renewal

  1. Kristen R. says:

    Oh, i know this guilt well. I wonder if it’s from being raised Catholic or just from being working moms — or just moms. I don’t know that I’ll ever get rid of it, but I think all the things we do set good examples for our children, even if it takes us away from them sometimes. You do a great a job and are a wonderful mom, wife, sister, friend, athlete and artist.

  2. wwwmama says:

    It’s taken me the divorce and forced split parenting to let go of much of the guilt. Guilt is ok if it’s productive, but if you’re just spinning for no reason, it’s not worth it. Your girls are watching closely, so they’re learning how to take care of their future selves by seeing you take care of yourself and them.

  3. khpixler says:

    It is a hard lesson when much of what I believe develops this guilt are from really wonderful lessons and qualities. It seems like a fine line dividing a a good strong moral foundation and a destructive burden. I am so impressed you have been able to break the mold.

  4. Jan says:

    Hi Kristen, the Catholic Church has misrepresented many many teachings of Christ. No need to go into all that, but concerning guilt , this is the biggest misrepresentation. Think for a moment, if Christ said “love others as you love yourself” your responsibility becomes…how do you love yourself? The latter is descriptive of how to love others! Your parents , of which I was a catholic parent at the time, were taught….love others! We never got an explanation of the latter. So we passed it on.
    Imagine for one moment. In time everyone took splendid care of themselves, in everyway they could, we would actually have peace on earth for that moment. Nothing has hurt the. Human condition more then. “False guilt”. False guilt is also a manipulating tactic to control others. The enormous amount of “rules-sins” set up by the catholic. Church are enough to control the world….
    Guilt has one purpose, if you hurt yourself or another human being in any way it will help you correct that behavior.
    False guilt is damaging to the great dignity of the human being.
    I salute you for challenging this , and for learning to model to your children that they are children of God, and that is the greatest reason for becoming all you can be with the unique gifts you have been given. Your blessing to them is to show them how and wish and bless them into the same .

    • Kristen says:

      Jan, Thank you so much for reading this and taking the time to give me such a thoughtful and insightful response. It really means the world to me. I can see why Claire is such an incredible and sensitive person. Thank you for your guidance and support.

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