Sunday, January 5, 2014

Who's the Real Hero?

     There are things I'm good at, and things I'm not. That's true no matter who you are, we all have strengths and weaknesses. I just happened to realize some things I'm really good at, and things I fail at in these past couple days. Friendship, something that has always been a driving force in my life, is one of those things that I either do well in, or fail. At least, that's how it seems.
     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;

      And with that, I'm going to pray now. Love you all!


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  2. Wow! I have skipped over this in my email for a couple of days now and I am so grateful that I stopped this morning to read it. What a wonderful message - I am going to forward it to a special person in my life who is so much like what you have described here. This person is clearly compelled to try to be everything to everybody, all because of the great love and compassion that exists inside them; but it seems to cause much confusion and heartache as they practically loose themself in it all. It obviously becomes very difficult and seems sad that a person can almost feel 'punished' for just naturally being such a good, kind, thoughtful, fun loving, person. I guess even 'goodness' requires some manageing to find a healthy balance. I think this special person in my life, who I love very much, will benefit from your beautiful writing and wonderful insights here. What a marvelous idea to just turn people over to God. Although they may be people you care for alot or even love deeply, and whether they are either taking too much from you or you are trying to give too much to them, the answer is still the same.... LOVINGLY TURN THEM OVER TO GOD. It doesn't mean you've failed at your attempt to help/save them, and it doesn't mean you are giving up on them, or walking away, or that your relationship is over - as a matter of fact, I'll bet when you turn them over to God these relationships will only evolve into exactly what God wants them to be. It makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing Mitchell - it was the PERFECT place to journal this time. :) Luv U Mrs. IDM

    1. Thank you Mrs. I Define Me! I think my all time favorite compliment is to hear that I can touch other people's lives. I'm definitely not always good at it, and, as stated in this very post, I need to let God do His part, but thank you! I really hope that my post, my thoughts, my feelings, and my life can touch them in some way, and help them realize it's ok to feel this way, but it's important to recognize our limits, and realize all that God can do, and that in the end, He's the only one who can truly save someone. I'm glad I decided to post it here, rather than locked away in some journal to gather dust on a shelf. It means a lot when people share their thoughts, experiences, and feedback with me. I've always been an extremist, and being able to see things from multiple perspectives have helped me to find the truth and flaws in my beliefs, and mold them to match what I believe God wants them to be. Thank you again Mrs. IDM!

  3. This reminds me of what Alma the Younger said (in Ch. 29):

    1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
    2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.
    3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.

    He wanted to teach everyone, to help everyone, to rid everyone of sorrow. But, as he pointed out, it was a sinful wish. He had to learn to be content with the smaller responsibility that he was given, and to perform faithfully where he was called.

    So I guess you have good company. Alma's a pretty amazing guy.

    1. Wow... that totally hit me in the heart. Thank you for sharing that with me! I hadn't even thought of that scripture (and I don't have scriptures memorized either, so...) But really, wow. Thank you for sharing that here. To think of it as sinful is a great light to put it in. Not that it's a super serious sin, by any means, but that I'm letting myself down and not giving God the credit for all He does, can do, and will do. Thank you for sharing that. I love it when people refer great scriptures to me! Scriptures can be truly one of the most powerful things

  4. I feel like that, too! Thanks for writing about it and helping me realize I'm not the only one who feels selfish or just downhearted about leaving people behind. I really like the advice your friend gave you. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks so much! I might not know your name, but it means a lot to me to hear that people can relate, even to things that I don't know exactly why I felt prompted to share. God truly works in amazing, but mysterious ways. The advice my friend gave me helped so much, and while it still hurts to think of the people I "left", I'm trying to keep his advice in mind

  5. Reflection is the first step toward understanding, and awareness is the first step toward change. :-)

    1. Thank you Job :) It's definitely a crucial step