It's relatively easy for me to meet most people for the first time. I know what's expected in greeting people, I know how to try to get small-talk going, I can introduce myself, ask how they're doing, see what they do in life, but without further invitation or influencing factors, that's about as far as it goes. Then there's the people I actually create friendships, or at least relationships with...
I've noticed that it's a real rarity for me to find someone I can be my true self around. Looking back when I was in High School, there was a lot of people I was friends with that I thought I was being "myself" around, but in all honesty, I wasn't completely authentic. I was comfortable to be as weird and crazy as I wanted, but I wasn't my true self... The gospel, which is a huge part of how I define myself, wasn't something I felt comfortable talking to them with, at least to the degree and depth I would've wanted. I couldn't really share my struggles and get the understanding and support I wanted.
Then after High School I found friends who could understand. And just over the past half-year since that time, many of them have slowly dissolved out of my life. That's the thing, unless I feel very close to someone (which again, is very rare for me), I have a hard time keeping in contact with them. There have been people I hung out with once or twice, and just fell out of their life after that because I forgot or was busy or just didn't have motivation... Looking back on it now, it makes me feel selfish. Maybe I am, I don't know.
Then there's another thing. Even when I feel close to someone, I still struggle keeping the friendship/relationship strong. As I get closer to someone, my expectations rise, and when those expectations aren't met, I get hurt and close off. I have a hard time with long-distance relationships or with relationships where I don't get to see the person very often. For me, it's really hard to consider myself close to someone when I haven't seen them for a long time or ever really spent quality time with them.
And so all of this creates a big circle for me. First, I have a hard time finding someone I can truly feel close to, second, I can forget to stay in contact with people or not have a desire to be in their life, and third, even when I feel close to someone, I still struggle, and the friendship can still dissolve. Lots of stuff for me to think about...
It was while I was going through my old letters and possessions that I realized much of this. Reading letters and cards people had given me all the way from elementary until now made me realize how many people I've left behind. How many people I've had come and go in my life, many of the goings being on my part. It got me to thinking I'm like a big "recycler". Entering someone's life for a period of time, and then slowly dissappearing... There have even been friendships where I considered them a best friend and could never imagine not being their friend, and yet, now they're no longer in my life.
I know this post might seem negative. Maybe my blog isn't the best place to journalize my life ;) but these are realizations I've had about myself. Who knows, someone who reads this might be able to related and feel understood or receive some help or inspiration. That's why I blog anyway is that there may be a chance for my words/writings to touch the lives of others.
These realizations haven't even been all negative. They hurt, yes, and gave me a lot to work on, but at least it's making sense now. I had a friend who I was talking to today who gave me some much needed and amazing feedback: "Sometimes we help people for a certain time and that is that. We will have many people come in and out of our lives... It may be a very short time, and others might be a lifetime. Just be grateful that you were able to help them when you did have them in your life. God will put others in their life to help them if you can't be there. You can only do so much and God knows that. You miss people, but you also turn them over to God."
I really needed to hear that today, and that got me thinking even more. Part of my issue is that I try to be everyone's "Savior", in a sense. In no way am I comparing myself to Christ, but often times in my life I've wanted to help everyone. I wanted to be some amazing person who could take a bullet for someone, take a trial onto myself to relieve another, and just make people's lives better. I know I've impacted lives around me, some for good, some not so much. But no matter what i do, I can't fix, help, or save everyone. There's a limit, and a big on at that, to what I can do. Christ and God are the only ones that can do it, and they can do it perfectly. It hurts to think that I can't save the people I care about. It hurts to know I can't take away their pain, it hurts to know that I'm "inadequate" to reach my goal, as irrational and impossible as it is.
The best thing, and really only probable thing I can do is be there for people as much as is possible and healthy for them and me, but more importantly to help them turn to and find God in their lives. I'm no superman as much as I may want to be sometimes. I can't save everyone, in fact, alone I can't save anyone. I can't take hardships, pain, or trials from people, all I can do is support and love them in their journey and point them towards God and Christ.
My influence may not be what I want it to be, I'm not the "hero" of the world, nor will I ever be. But I can be my own hero if I let myself turn to God and if I let Him take care of me and those I love. I need to trust in Him more, and rely on His power rather than wishing I could do more than is humanly possible.
Sometimes life is crazy. My brain, for one, is pretty crazy ;) How it came up with the things it did/does I may never know, but at least I know I don't have to be everyone's hero. God can do that, all I have to do is my part, and try to help others come to God. My best.That's what I need to focus on, doing my best, not making my best better than it can be.
I may not be the hero, but I know Who is;