Saturday, March 8, 2014


She smiled compassionately as she chuckled, giving me the look you'd give a child who is scared of the monster under his bed.

"It's guilt. You always feel guilty. What is this guilt? It's the most useless emotion. Once people realize they can use this against you, they control you without even knowing they're doing it."

I listened as she spoke, feeling like a bug under her microscope, tiny and helpless as I underwent her inspection. Although her words came from a place of care, they had a sting to them, a hint of truth. There is something in this brain that render's me incapable of saying "no" and is always searching for ways to compensate for my shortcomings, feeling as though I've somehow inconvenienced others by simply being, therefore "owing" them.

It wasn't something I wanted to discuss, and especially not with her, but I didn't want to be disrespectful. After all, there is a power differential here. She is my clinical supervisor; a doctor with many years of experience and great influence over my future. This very nature of mine, the guilt that she had gently indicated being so problematic in my life, was the very thing that held my lips in a complacent smile as she spoke. What could I say?

And then she continued...

"It's because you believe in God. So of course you have to feel guilty. It's one of the goddamn rules of believing in God. It's useless. This is the root of all your problems."

I was shocked. I couldn't believe the words coming out of her mouth.
Even more, I couldn't believe the lack of words coming out of mine.

The sting only intensified as days passed.
I asked for forgiveness for my lack of conviction.

But since, I've decided something.

I won't feel guilty for biting my tongue.
I know the truth. My belief in God does not bind me to guilt.

It frees me of it.

She once said that over these past several months she has had more conversations with me about the "Christian God" than she's ever had before. Because of her cultural background and her atheist beliefs, most people who call themselves Christians have steered away from these conversations with her. She wants to know why I'm different than others, even asking me, "Why are you SO nice?"

The truth is, I'm not. I am not SO nice. I just do my best to glorify God, failing daily, but continuing on. And I whole-heartedly believe that allowing her to present her doubts and questions while still showing her respect and living in Truth has had an impact somehow.

I know the truth. My belief in God does not bind me to guilt.

It frees me of it.

And I believe, one day, her belief in God will free her.

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