I have felt a fair share of legitimate guilt in my life. I've made some bad choices, even hurt a few people. That has all been resolved and is in the past. I've learned from it and become better for it.
There is also the kind of guilt that I am conditioned to feel (as a woman), by societal pressures, including but not limited to maintaining a more spotless home, eating better, volunteering more. I fall short on many counts, according to these ideals.
The pressure to meet these expectations plagues so many of us. And nothing is sacred - you can't even get through pregnancy, one of the greatest sacrifices a woman can make - without "rules".
There are women who consequently become obsessed with perfection, altering their features, starving their bodies, losing themselves in their careers, forgetting themselves in motherhood, beating themselves up over things they cannot help - like wayward children, infertility, depression.
When are we going to live in a world where we are welcome to be who we are? Healthy but not waif-like, competent but not obsessed, unique but not conceited, flawed but exquisite, tried but true.
There is currently a "So What" campaign inspired by Tyra Banks' response to the media calling her fat. I do not watch her show, but I am inspired by the responses I have read to this campaign here and here.
May we all have the strength to stand up and say "so what" to the unrealistic expectation that we "be" or "look" a certain way. Each of us is rare and wondrous!