This blog post was written by a Culture-Rebel reader, who remain anonymous, who has brought up some very real feelings that many have when it comes to this life, reaching out and being people who can potentially influence culture. This is being posted with her permission. Perhaps you have felt the same? We would love to hear your comments as well!
Even as a child, I remember being aware of “needs” around me. Part of the joy of being the eldest, type- A, over-achiever; whatever name you want to put on it, I was there. I did not always know what to do with the awareness. Often asking my parents or teachers, I would be told to not concern myself with things I didn’t understand. But, I could see and understand that people were hurting, or lonely, or scared and hungry. So I just felt guilty that I could not “do” something. Shame resulted.
How do you reach out to others? How do you learn what is considerate, respectful AND helpful?
When I, personally needed help, it was difficult. My church community was not very helpful. Perhaps, I had been “judged and found wanting?” Perhaps I “deserved” the problems I was experiencing? It was a lonely time. Granted, I have always been a bit of a loner. I was never one to be in the midst of the social scene. Even though I work in the performing arts, I am an introvert. I need alone–time but I don’t need to be alone all the time.
It is great to think the Christian community will “be there” for us. My experience is full of judgement and condemnation… Hasn’t really done much for my confidence in reaching out.
Through my own loneliness, I have become more aware of the loneliness of young mothers. I remember when my children were young; so busy all the time. It is so easy to lose sight of oneself. I notice the pressure that young mothers are under. It is sad to see the competition and lack of support between many young mums. There is enough challenges is raising little ones without feeling that you have to “keep up” with the fashionable clothes, SUV stroller, the “right” pre-school or mummy and me program, your child’s development, etc, etc, etc. OY!!!!
I am also aware of the pressure on women in general, of all ages. Fashion, Skin-tone, Health, Fitness, Techno gadgets…..on and on it goes. Who really sets these standards and do we really need to buy into any of them at all? My dream is to able to enjoy each other’s personalities, encourage each other’s gifts, plans, dreams, ideas, families, lives, faith…. Without a lot of competition. How’s that for a far out concept?
I value ordinary. Ordinary is great and for me is very fulfilling. Ordinary is not boring. Ordinary is being content with what I have; Content to be able to serve others realistically, as I can. Ordinary does not bring me a lot of guilt over what I cannot do or have. Ordinary is not filled with shame. Ordinary brings me freedom. Ordinary brings me to a better place in my faith.
My husband, life-partner and resident guitar-guy and I pray and discuss the causes, charities, events, individuals we will support with our time and finances. We try to think locally and globally. Ordinary leads us – what can we realistically and wholehearted do? No guilt, no shame.
I totally get how much more we can be doing for people around us near and far. It has taken me years to resolve that I can only do what I am capable of and not feel guilty for what I cannot do. Life can be so complicated, sometimes the issues on our own lives, our own family has to take precedence. I am trying to live in the moment – my mother is very ill and we are not sure how long this may last. This is our reality. Ordinary
I do not know who will read this; my prayer for you is trust in God, place your hopes and dreams with Him. Be open to the angels who cross your path, some of them have arms, and legs, and smiles and listening ears and open hearts! God bless you and keep you. Peace, Grace and Mercy.