Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Solitary Righteousness?

Righteousness is not a solitary condition. It cannot be achieved by ourselves. Sure, we can reach a great level of peace, tranquility and calm if we are off by ourselves, but it will never really reach the level of righteousness. We can even get to the point that we have nothing but pure thoughts and don't do anything overtly wrong. But we need other people in our lives if we are to attain a level of real righteousness. We need others in our life to hurt us, frustrate us, challenge us, love us, support us, teach us, and give us those opportunities to learn to be like the Savior. He didn't do it in a bubble, and neither can we. If we are living a pure but solitary life we're still filled with selfishness and have a great need to reach outside ourselves.

This is hard for me. I'm an introvert and would be pretty content living like a hermit most of the time. It's a real struggle to push myself to be involved with other people, and even though I really enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to serve others, I feel like I've got a loooong way to go before I ever reach a real level of righteousness.

I especially notice this when I see others around me who get together often and enjoy a high level of sociality and friendship. I really long to have closer relationships with those around me but seem unable to ever really reach that level. Problem is, I'm not real sure how to do it. I'm slowly learning but some days it feels like I'm still at Level I and just not progressing. I think I was doing better when I wasn't RS president- I was starting to invite people over and be more social, but with this massive calling and trying to keep up with early morning seminary schedule, most days I'm just too tired to even contemplate having guests over. And then the guilt kicks in because I really do want to be welcoming and be a good friend. I want to have friends over and share my life more with them. One of my resolutions this year is to do just that. So far it hasn't happened, but it's on my mind. So to all of you who showed interest in getting together with us... I haven't forgotten and I'm not ignoring you... one of these days things will come together right and we'll be able to hang out!

I recognize the need to be more involved with other humans if I'm ever to learn how to be like the Savior. For some people I think this comes naturally, and to others (like me) it may very well be a lifelong struggle. But either way it's a requirement of this earthly life to interact with, learn to live with and love others regardless of what they're like. That's what our true purpose is here: to love others. And it's the only way to reach our fullest potential.


chelle said...

I am right there with you. I have been very happy lately being my introverted self. But, deep down, I'm really not happy being by myself all the time. Maybe this is why? Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I always need a reminder in this area!

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Mama D said...

What's up with the long spam comments? I also had one that I deleted. Ugh.

I love the idea that righteousness is not solitary. I haven't put it in that context before, but it makes perfect sense.

Patty, even though you have a hard time being "extroverted," you are a fantastic friend. You know how to listen and how to be understanding and compassionate. You also share your ideas and feelings, even if they disagree with those with whom you are talking. I love those characteristics of yours. I miss you!