Oh, the joy and peace of a sunny Monday morning! I've been enjoying reading everyone's blogs and gaining strength from all of your testimonies and shared experiences. This last week was a real trial for me. I had just gotten home from vacation and a funeral and was exhausted. Add to that the beginnings of PMS and then an inundation of RS responsibilities and other problems that couldn't be delegated and I was feeling down right mean! I felt like every last drop of charity had been drained from my heart and I felt sooo overwhelmed. I wanted nothing more than to be able to take a day or two to recuperate and get myself together. No such luck. As is often the case, the times when I felt like I most needed a break were the times that the phone would ring and another issue would arise! I had a hard time not complaining about having to help people who "should" be able to do more for themselves. I'm not saying that people should always be strong or should be able to do everything for themselves, but it's hard to mesh the idea of "self-reliance" and "charity." Where do we draw the line between helping and actually creating a dependent attitude? How much should we expect people to step up and DO for themselves, and how much should we be willing to step in and do for them? I'm still in the process of figuring this one out. As my Mom put it- we come from independent, do it yourself stock... and unfortunately compassion can sometimes get steamrolled by those ingrained attitudes. Please don't take my bad attitude of this last week personally- I really do love to serve and help, this was just a set of unusual circumstances.
The good news, though, is that this last week has taught me lessons. It has taught me that when I'm asked to go out of the way to help someone, I should try my hardest to do it in a spirit of love and compassion and not worry so much about their need to learn self-reliance at this time. Maybe they're not ready for the next step in their progression to self-reliance and responsibility. Maybe it's someone else's job to help them learn it. It doesn't matter- what matters is how I respond. And the Lord didn't say that I get a break just because I have PMS!!
I read an article about service that also helped put things into perspective. The article mentioned that those we serve are actually doing us a service also. Without the poor, the needy, and those who are struggling we would have no need to give service, thus cutting ourselves off from the growth and blessings that service brings to us. We didn't come here to memorize scripture verses and be able to recite them- we came here to LIVE them.
This all helped me learn another great lesson on humility. Not only am I not fully self-reliant myself (I have to rely on Heavenly Father for all I have and the Savior for all I need!) but I also can't progress without having the experiences I've been going through. I need to be reminded of my own frailties and inadequacies in order to have more compassion for those that I might see as not quite as capable as myself. It's a hard thing to admit that you've been so prideful that you've been judging someone else as not "enough" in some way or another. I'm thankful for the reminder I've had this week of my own weaknesses (pride obviously being one!) and for the multiple opportunities I have to try to overcome them.
That said, I'm also glad it's a whole new week and I'm getting back into a normal routine!! Yea for cleaning bathrooms and putting away Christmas lights!! Yea for exercise and being able to open the windows!! What a great day!