Monday, March 21, 2011
BEFORE YOU ACT
Your well-meaning act of kindness or assistance may not always be appreciated. Don't be offended. Don't complain. Don't rant or throw a tantrum. What you say may speak volumes--not about others, but about you--and you may not like it. What seems to be necessary to you--what seems like a terrific idea--may not be the least bit important to others. It may be even less impressive if it is not carried out to their satisfaction.
You can see a supposed need, but the manner in which you fulfill it may fly in the face of another person's practices, customs, plan, wishes, wants, preferences, or ability to act.
Don't be alarmed if the very thing you think needs to be done immediately, can be tolerated--UNDONE--by others for days on end--or never tackled at all. Sometimes it's best to be satisfied with a job well done and forget all about the awards ceremony you're secretly looking for.
Finding out that what you have done isn't appreciated or acknowledged shouldn't cause you to stop being thoughtful, helpful or considerate, though. If everything you do is in the hopes of some kind of pay off, perhaps it would be a good time to explore what real charity is all about.
How you behave at the end of a matter reveals whether or not it was worth the effort. It also exposes your reasons for embarking on a task in the first place.
If you do WHATEVER you do "heartily as unto the Lord", His pleasure will always be foremost in your mind as you act. It won't matter whether what you have done is liked or applauded-- or not.
Always examine your motives. Ask yourself WHY you do what you do. Be honest. Sometimes, it may surprise you to find out that what you think is a simple act of kindness, is really a cry for attention, approval, accolades or acceptance. Sometimes your actions are judgment in motion. Do you do a thing because it is required, or to highlight that it has gone undone, and indict others for their inactivity? Are you subconsciously trying to motivate or force someone else to do it? Are you trying to keep an old tradition or pattern of behavior alive? Are you just restless, bored, unfulfilled and NEED to be busy? Are you not being affirmed when, where and by whom it counts most? Are you just making unnecessary plans and work for yourself which leads to further insecurity, and even more futile schemes designed to get the pat on the back that you so desperately need?
Decide whether others are not doing enough, or you're doing WAY too much. Decide whether what you do is saying less about what others are NOT doing, and more about your own condition. Decide whether your energy could and should be exerted elsewhere. Sometimes busy-ness and constantly creating work for others is telling more than you want to actually reveal. Sometimes it says more about what is NOT happening, than what IS happening.
It's so important to "Love effectively". It cuts down on your OWN frustration when you love and do for people, the things that they will ACTUALLY appreciate and embrace, instead of wearing yourself out doing things YOU think they SHOULD want.
Lamenting about what you've done, how long it took, how much it cost, how difficult it was, and how exhausted you are afterward, can be prevented by not convincing yourself that what you're doing is of a critical nature when it really isn't. Some things don't HAVE to be on your plate--you should just admit that you want or need them to be. Be advised that they have the potential to choke you, cause you indigestion, or require tedious clean-up.
In your need to make work for yourself, you can't get mad if others sit back and watch you work--especially when they didn't sign on for the job. There's a difference between seeing a need and fulfilling it, and creating a crisis, demanding that others drop what they're doing to help, and freaking out when others aren't eager to embrace the drama. Some people have declared a moratorium on being stressed out by stressed out people. If you're going to do a thing, be prepared that you may be doing it alone--and be okay with that.