Monday, 25 June 2012

Being A Martyr, and Then Being Angry About It

    I saw this quote on Pinterst, and and it really struck a chord for me.  I am a save the world girl.  I have this terrific need to leave this world better than when I came into it.  It's not really that I am so good, it's more of a compulsion.  The first time I ever watched "It's a Wonderful Life", it really resonated for me. I was in university, and had nothing better to do at the Christmas season, so I watched a movie classic, little knowing how it would forever change me.  I remember finishing the movie and being dazed.  If I were to die at that moment, would I have made a difference?  How many people's lives had a touched, was the world a better place because I had been in it?  My answer to those questions was not many, and not really.  From that moment forward it would change.
    This need to touch lives and change the world became more of a compulsion than ever when Gabe was born.  When he began school I saw the disparity in the life that he had, and the lives of other children at his school.  Gabe wanted for nothing, even though at that time I had nothing.  He had people around him that adored him.  I would volunteer at his school and see children with the dead eyes.  There were and still are, children who are wearing dirty clothes that don't fit them, wearing clothing that is inappropriate for our harsh climate.  I began a snow suit exchange that is now nearing it's 14th year.  Three years ago I saw what some of the children were bringing for their lunches, and with another mother we brought a breakfast program into our school.  I share this not so that you will wonder at my goodness, but to make a point.  I do it because it is a compulsion, it is a need of mine.
    Until about three years ago I gave EVERYTHING of myself to my family.  If I received birthday money, it was spent on the kids.  If there was any extra money it went to buy things that the kids or Christopher needed.  I asked for nothing, but I resented it.  I resented that they did not appreciate my sacrifice.  At no point did they ask me to sacrifice everything for them, but I resented that they did not give me their undying appreciation for my sacrifice.  I found myself being angry more often than I was not.  I needed to change.  I began to take for myself.  Funny thing happened, I was much nicer.  It was difficult to buy a nice shirt for myself, I was wracked with guilt thinking about what that money could buy.  When I wore that shirt, I felt better about myself.  When I felt better about myself I had more patience.  It was a hard lesson, and still is, I need to treat myself with the kindness that I give openly to others.
    For me the Audrey Hepburn quote resonates for me.  Too often I give both of my hands to help others.  I do without so that others will have.  I need to remind myself that I have two hands, one for giving to others, and one to give to myself.  Balance.

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