I'm feeling a myriad of emotions. And I'm having a hard time grappling with them all. Usually, I mull over these posts and author them over and over in my head until they perfectly represent my state of mind. However, I'm so disturbed I'm having a hard time organizing my own feelings.
As I've tried to make sense of what got me here, I've spent a lot of time examining my behavior. My purest intentions. I've revisited what defines me and what makes me tick.
I'm glad to say I'm still who I thought I was. I guess what hurts is that what I am isn't enough for some people. The sting is thick. It burrows to my core. I don't doubt myself, but I wonder what it is people in this world really want from others.
It can't be generosity.
It can't be forgiveness.
It can't be empathy.
It sure as hell isn't honesty.
When you open yourself up to people and they make it perfectly clear they not only don't appreciate your efforts, but they openly despise you, it can send you reeling.
I am reeling.
I feel how McCaully Caulkin looked in Home Alone when he burns his face off. Except my surprise at the sting is deep within.
I suppose I had it coming, though. The great Maya Angelou said, "When someone shows you who they are, believe them." My dad has also warned, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
So, why, when it's clearly obvious that investing is the stupid and risky thing to do, am I willing to do so?
Because that is who I am. I'd give my shirt to the first person I met who needed it. I'd bend over backwards to the point of breaking to help a person succeed. I'd give my last dollar to help another make ends meet. I'm willing to sacrifice my own comfort to make someone else feel comforted.
And I hate that I now I question whether it's worth it to stick my neck out when it's so easy for another to step right on it.
I hate it for a couple of reasons.
The first is because it goes against my nature to withhold service from anyone who may be in need. It feels physically wrong to watch someone need assistance and to know I can ease their burden, but to keep my talents buried in order to protect myself.
Not only does it feel intrinsically wrong, but I have made covenants to share all that I have to help others on this planet. To freely give of myself, my talents and my belongings if it would better the life of someone else. I don't take that lightly.
The second is that I hate giving someone else that type of power. Why should someone else's bad behavior change me? I should keep doing what is right even if it isn't appreciated.
But, I'm human. And I really don't like hurt. I don't like losing sleep at night about this stuff. I like a clear conscience. I like knowing I did everything I could to choose the right and it all ends well because I do that.
Funny thing is, I was pretty sure I had chosen the right. And here I am, feeling loathed. How does that even work?
Another good question is: why do I take it personal? Why internalize what one person has to say? Is it a reflection of me or could it really be a reflection of who they are and where they are in life?
But, I hate being made to feel like I have let a person down. Or that my character is questionable.
Sure, I'm not perfect. But I'm genuine. I'm a lot of things; a liar isn't one of them.
And when my authenticity is challenged, not only am I deeply wounded. I get pissed.
Right now, I'm pissed.
Amid this tornado of betrayal, shock, hurt, and frustration, there is one thought that is consistent in my mind as I mull this over and over and over day after day.
The Savior gave his all.
He was even willing to give his own life.
He was despitefully used.
His great act of sacrifice was mocked.
Even now, his work goes unappreciated by millions.
Not so much as a "Thank You" was offered to him by so many who reaped the benefits of his efforts.
I, myself, have been guilty of not truly appreciating how my life has been changed by him.
And while I'm no Savior, he has asked me to emulate his great teachings. He has asked me to mourn with those that mourn. To comfort those in need of comfort. To give everything to help with the building up of his kingdom. He has asked me to pray for them that spitefully use me. He has asked me to forgive not only seven times, but seven times seventy.
Once again, I lean on his perfection and his sacrifice to mend the gap that I can't bridge on my own. He will not only heal my heart, but he will give me the capacity to forgive my offenders.
I've got to be genuine to who I am and what I know to be true. I refuse to let another dictate my moral choices. I'm still gonna offer my shirt to the needy. And feed the hungry. And blindly trust a stranger who needs an opportunity.
And I'm going rely on my Savior to make up the rest.