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This has been on my mind lately.

  • "No kind act, no matter how small, is ever wasted."
  • "If I give all I posess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." *~St. Paul

 

In the episode of the religious show, Touched By An Angel, one character made a list of "good things to do to get to Heaven" in a notebook. His list included, "Help old lady in wheelchair, do charity work" etc. He later throws out the notebook. At the end of the episode, one of the angels has it, and reads from it. She says, "You weren't doing any of these things out of the goodness of your heart. You were only doing them to get to Heaven." The Angel of Death explains, "If that's the way it worked, you couldn't do enough good things in order to get to Heaven."

 

But, if "kind acts aren't wasted," then why wouldn't his good deeds (even if they were "just to get to Heaven") count in a sense? When I was 8, I was told I wasn't going to Heaven when I died...sadly, I think I vaguely remember doing similar things the character on the show did. (Making sure I did "good things" so I'd get to Heaven somehow.)

 

Ironically, I've observed that people who "are SO nice!" are actually not very happy individuals. When Princess Di was asked, "Why are your charities so important to you?" her response was, "I have nothing else to do." Rosie O'Donnell was once dubbed "the Queen of Nice." (Boy, how THAT changed!) Singer Clay Aiken gloated that he "doesn't smoke, drink, do drugs, doesn't sleep around" and even denied being gay in 2003. Fast forward to 2006, he finally admits he's gay, makes fun of Kelly Ripa on her talk show & rudely silences her with his hand---all on live TV.

 

I've been having a lot of epiphanies since entering my late-20s. I guess I feel like when I was younger, I was a good person---yet, good things rarely happened to me back then. ("...I gain nothing.") It's amazing how people talk of "bad" peer pressure all the time ("Just say No to drugs and alcohol, kids!") and yet, no one talks of "positive" peer pressure as well. ("Colleges look at your activities, not just your grades. So join a ton of clubs! You'll meet lots of people and be happy!") I used to do a ton of favors for the principal's office at my high school when I was 18; my teachers sung my praises to the highest heavens. But I didn't like me...I hated that I was so quiet and felt so out of place. (My teachers viewed my stony, insecure silence as hard work & good behavior. Again, ironically, the teacher I hated the most in high school was the only one who was legitatmately concerned about how isolated and silent I was.)

 

I guess the point of this forum...not only is it rant, but also another epiphany. For much of my life, I felt pressured to give and do lots of things in order to be considered a worthy, worthwhile, and good person in this world. I.e.:

 

"You weren't doing any of these things out of the goodness of your heart. You were only doing them to get to Heaven."

I wasn't doing the principal's office all those favors out of the goodness of my heart...I was only doing them because (like Princess Di) I had nothing else to do.

 

Thank you for reading.

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I am so amazed that all of your reflections/memories come from elementary/highschool

Amazed in a good way or a bad way? lol

 

You seem consumed by the stories and memories of that time in your life.

Do you know why?

A couple reasons...I guess I feel if I tell everyone all these examples about my life, I will "justify" myself. When I was 15, I was exposed to this:

 

Elementary school was my Vietnam...it was pure torture for me, and for awhile things just got worse. Honestly, my life didn't truly start to get positive until I transferred to UMASS Dartmouth in 2004. While I was there, I was free to be myself, and I met other genuine nice people. I graduated in January 2008, and I've been a struggling author in-between jobs ever since. (Thankfully, I am writing a great manuscript now, and have a steady part-time job that I truly enjoy. I also have a counselor who helps me greatly.)

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
I am so amazed that all of your reflections/memories come from elementary/highschool... and you are 29 years old. You seem consumed by the stories and memories of that time in your life.

Do you know why?

I thought about this some more lately. I've come up with 2 reasons:

1.) I have a huge memory.

2.) I lost touch with people within my teens; I never got out much at all. The examples of dealing with others from elementary/junior high are the only ones I have.

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Sometimes we are not able to fully process difficult things when they happen. At another stage in life we might look back at them because they had a powerful impact on us emotionally. We are able to look at them with a new understanding or maturity, and begin to process them more effectively. That could very well be what you are doing.

 

I went through various stages of this, and eventually in my 40's dealt with issues stemming from my birth. It took that long to be ok with considering something from so long ago could have a lasting impact, and to find support processing it. Doing so took time, but helped me release the power the incident had. To the outside world it may seem like a non-issue, but inside me, in my inner world, it certainly was.

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yes I've learned from my poor behavior in relationships that I should be doing good out of abundance, not because I expect something back. For instance I would say 'I love you' just to hear it said back to me. Then if I don't hear it back when I want it, I build resentment. This was a very unhealthy mindset. The right thing to do would be to just ask 'do you love me?'

 

goodness out of anything except abundance will build resentment and unhappiness. at least that's my thinking.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Sometimes we are not able to fully process difficult things when they happen. At another stage in life we might look back at them because they had a powerful impact on us emotionally. We are able to look at them with a new understanding or maturity, and begin to process them more effectively. That could very well be what you are doing.

Precisely.

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  • 1 month later...
Sometimes we are not able to fully process difficult things when they happen. At another stage in life we might look back at them because they had a powerful impact on us emotionally. We are able to look at them with a new understanding or maturity, and begin to process them more effectively. That could very well be what you are doing.

My counselor pretty much said this when I told her why I've posted so many past examples on here.

 

I am so amazed that all of your reflections/memories come from elementary/highschool... and you are 29 years old. You seem consumed by the stories and memories of that time in your life.

Do you know why?

Thought about this some more tonight...I realized I've gone over the memories so often in my mind because, I've thought that by doing so, I can somehow "relive" those past moments and make them better somehow. Obviously, that hasn't worked and isn't good to do at all. *Another epiphany*

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  • 1 year later...

A good quote that I feel fits this forum:

 

"I'm in the painful process right now of revisiting my behavior at the beginning of each relationship I ever had. And like I said at the beginning of this chapter, sometimes it's embarrassing to live through it again. But the more I look back, the more I become aware of what I did and the joy I sacrificed as a result. Hopefully now I will be able to recognize when my pretend self pops up in a relationship and stop myself from trying to trick my future man into thinking I'm perfect. I hope, just like in my career, I can feel okay with being liked by some and hated by others. Authenticity makes the world a better place."

*~Jenny McCarthy, Love, Lust, & Faking It~*

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