Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Learning to be Human

I figured out something about myself today. Its nothing new but I finally was able to peg it, pin it down, identify it. The reason I feel inadequate next to genuinely nice caring people is because I lack compassion. Compassion is definitely not my strong suit. It does not come naturally to me, rarely does it occur to me that a person needs anything other than a stern talking too, a clear set of rules, and possibly a good whack upside the head in order to turn their lives around. (not that I'm whacking anybody upside the least not in anything other than a recreational way.)
Its like a light bulb went off inside my head today when I found myself thinking about a sad situation with nothing other than annoyance, and I knew that being annoyed was not the appropriate response. I couldn't let it go, I did not WANT to be annoyed, I wanted to feel the same love and respect that everybody else seems to feel, but me and my warped brain, I felt annoyed, and I felt disappointed in myself.

Remember in your growing up years there was always that one person who would be anybody's friend no matter how "uncool" that anybody was? But that person was never my friend. Probably because I was tense, uptight, mean, and judgmental. I could see that the nice people were the happier people. I wanted to believe that their love for life, their willingness to be a friend, and their compassion, was real. But my skeptical mind told me that they were in it for a selfish reason (not that I could name what possible selfish reason a person would have for being kind and loving.) In truth, I wanted to BE that genuinely kind girl, but I didn't know how. For some reason my efforts at being kind felt like they diminished me in some way. If I let my guard down I would most certainly be taken advantage of. Should I stop expecting people to just buck-up and deal with "it" in some way their problems would burden me. I am the selfish one. I am the one who is stingy with my love. I am the one who is burdened with feelings of remorse for those I could have treated with more patience. How ironic that my being "strong" diminished me, and those who were "weak" (gave themselves up to another in a moment of need) were the one's strengthened. Isn't this exactly the way Satan works? He makes the strong look weak and the weak look strong. He makes the good look bad and the bad look good. What a mess!

Either way, at least I can admit to myself that compassion is something that is not naturally within me and I need to find a way to put it there, to train myself up to respond with patience and kindness to any need a sister, friend, or loved one may put at my feet. Maybe now that I am aware of this hole in my heart I can fill it, one small act of service at a time. Maybe, just maybe, over the years I can sew it shut and lose the injury my selfishness has caused. I hope so. I don't fear lack of opportunity. There's plenty of that to go around. So bear with me, and understand, I'm learning to be human, the loving, caring, compassionate kind Heavenly Father intended me to be.


Heatherlyn said...

What an interesting thing to be aware of about oneself. Good luck with that! Awareness and desire are the first steps to developing anything within ourselves.

Hartson family said...

I've been thinking about your newly realized "problem" and I see it a little differently, so I thought I should share my insight. You have the tough love that some people can't make change in their lives without. There are many of us who nurture in more traditional ways, but that's not to say your way isn't nurturing. Sure, if you feel you need to be more compassionate- go for it, work on it. But to be honest, there's lots to be said for the tough love you dish out!

JennyMac said...

Love the introspect. Compassion is not something everyone has but I do think you can build you act of service at a time.

Jillene said...

I love your honesty. I have no patience. NONE whatsoever. I have issues with it everyday.

Chef Tess said...

Why do I love this post so much? Rare to see a good honest posting like this. Certainly gives me hope. I was the one who was too nice and has learned to show a little tough love now and then. I think it's possible to have a good balance. Sure love you!!