“What makes Abrahamic monotheism different is that it believes there is an answer to the question, why. Neither the universe nor human life is meaningless, an accident, a mere happenstance. As Freud, Einstein, and Wittgenstein all said, religious faith is faith in the meaningfulness of life.”
-The Great Partnership from Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Every great solution requires a reason ‘why’, just as every great leader needs to have a ‘why’. Life is really difficult when we don’t have a direction and we don’t have meaning.
I have the privilege of helping people help themselves, which in turn helps me. Sometimes my effort to help isn’t rewarded; rather it’s seen as me being a hindrance, or even worse, my motives are viewed as impure; or the worst of all, that I’m hurting the situation, not helping.
The worst part of this is that I buy it and I believe it, and I emotionally internalize it. I’m grateful that I don’t buy it intellectually, as I know that my motives are pure. I know that I care with all of my heart, and the hindrance might be that I truly care too much. It’s possible that I take things too personally, that I try too hard, which ends up preventing someone from having the experience that may be helpful to them in the long run. Please don’t get me wrong, I make boat loads of mistakes. I’m human, I mess up daily, yet I always try my best to course correct. The one thing I know is that my motives are pure and sincere.
How do you not take things personally? How do you know when there is a mistake you have to improve upon? How do you prevent the shame from sinking in? Mostly, how do you forgive yourself and do you course correct when needed?
This week, I’m going to remind myself to be gentle and kind toward myself, just as I tell others to do. I will remind myself, just as I remind others, that shame has no benefit in my life, and if I mess up, that’s okay. All I can do–all any of us can do–is make an amends, course correct, and move on, while hopefully not making the same mistake next time.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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