So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
– Romans 8:1
“This morning we are going to learn to juggle. Each of you should be holding three brightly colored scarves.”
More than a thousand of us had gathered in the ballroom of a hotel for a conference on laughter. This morning we were listening to Dr. Steve Allen Jr., the son of the famous comedian.
“I’m going to lead you through a dozen steps to teach you the fine art of juggling,” he told us. “First, take one of your scarves, hold it out at arm’s length, and drop it.”
We couldn’t believe our ears. “Drop it?” people murmured. You could feel the resistance. Nobody around me dropped a scarf. And I certainly wasn’t going to fall for that trick.
“C’mon now, drop it!” Dr. Allen commanded. One by one, we reluctantly released our scarves, and they fluttered to the carpeted ballroom floor. “There now, doesn’t that feel better?” asked Dr. Allen. “You have gotten your mistake over with. This is the first step in learning to juggle. We call it the guilt-free drop.”
I could feel the tension roll off my shoulders. I’m allowed to make mistakes, I thought. I don’t have to be a perfect juggler. More importantly, this silly exercise revealed that no one — myself included — needs to be perfect.
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” –Elbert Hubbard
How many times have you been caught in the guilt trap, trying to ease your conscience from self-inflicted accusations? How many times have you felt guilty for not being perfect? Maybe you didn’t hit a home run in some way and you’re still punishing yourself. Whatever its source, we are all victims of guilt we don’t deserve — and we’ve got to let it go or it will eat us up.
Why? Because it does no good for us or for our relationship. False feelings of guilt, in fact, cause us to be more self-focused and less loving. So the next time you are falsely accusing yourself of being less than perfect, take a guilt-free drop and move on.