A Heart Two Sizes Too Small

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I watched “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” tonight with Lola.  She has been singing the song from that movie all week long, and we finally decided to watch the DVD.

Fah who for-aze!
Dah who dor-aze!
Welcome Christmas,
Christmas Day.

I’ve seen the show many, many times, and I was only watching halfheartedly.  Something struck me as I listened to the words tonight.  When the Grinch witnesses the love and kindness of the people of Whoville,

“And what happened, then? Well, in Whoville they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!”

It’s the same old story, and it’s a beautiful story.  It’s the same story that has been told over and over in so many ways, many versions, and in every language.  For as long as human beings have been telling stories, this basic theme has been a part of that tradition.  A troubled character is touched by love, and some momentous positive change occurs.  This type of story is  more than just a “good vs. evil” tale.  These stories are lessons.  They attempt to teach us that not only does GOOD win over evil, but that if we are good enough; we can actually change evil INTO GOOD.

Earlier as I was driving home from work, I was had been remembering a “friend” that I had once believed in, championed, supported, and defended.  It was a classic case of throwing good deeds out there one after another in an attempt to douse the flames of evil.  I had excused insensitive behavior over and over again.  I forgave lies and half-truths.  I had forgiven this person for horrible, hurtful things without even the decency of an apology.  I had let bygones be bygones even when no attempt had been made to rectify the misdeeds.   I thought I could teach kindness.  I thought I could show by example the true value of friendship.  I thought I could convert Bad to Good.  When that failed to happen, I blamed myself.  What had I done wrong?  Where had I gone wrong?  Why wasn’t my love, friendship, kindness good enough to make a difference?  I had failed.  I hadn’t forgiven enough.  I had stood up for myself too often.  I had put myself first instead of my “friend.”  I had failed.  This person never changed, just as everyone around me had warned.  In fact, the situation continued to worsen until I had finally had enough.  I walked away from the situation feeling defeated, battered, and beaten.  I had failed.

I thought about this “friend” once again as I watched The Grinch.  Again, I felt the sting of my failure.  No, I wasn’t able to bring the Good out from under all of the Bad.  Yes, I failed, but I also learned a valuable lesson.  It is not my job to try to change other people.  Some people move from person to person taking all that is offered until there is nothing left to give.  While that is a painful lesson to have learned the hard way, I wasn’t really the loser in the end.  In the end, this person is still messed up, while I have learned to acknowledge and cherish the real and honest goodness that already exists in the people who are a positive and giving part of my life.  Those are the people whose hearts are NOT “two sizes too small.”

The Worst Question In The World

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Yesterday was not a good day.  Today was better, but only because I was so busy at work.  I didn’t have many moments to think.

I have back-tracked.  I have revisited….again….that same old questions.  WHY?  Why….this?  Why…..that?  The question of why always leads me to look at myself.  What is wrong with me?  Why am I not good enough?  Asking those questions always leads me to begin the litany of my shortcomings.  I am not nice enough.  I am not patient enough.  I didn’t give enough.  I didn’t express myself well enough.  I am not pretty enough.  I am not smart enough.  Who would like ME?  Why would anyone like ME?  I am not worthy of love.   You get the picture.

 

Rejection:   refusal, spurning, dismissal, elimination. 

Elimination:  1.  to   remove or get rid of, especially as being in some way undesirable.  2.  to omit, especially as being unimportant or irrelevant.  3.  to remove from further consideration or competition.  4.  to eradicate or kill.

Spurn:  to reject with disdain; scorn.  2.  to treat with contempt; despise.  3.  to kick or trample with the foot.

 

Losing is not easy.  Losing a friend because they choose not to be in your life any longer is damaging.  Being a liability in  someone’s life means that you are a problem.  You are not worth their time or effort.  To them, you are disposable.  Who could not look in the mirror and wonder, “What in the hell is wrong with me?”

But wait, I have been dealing with this for long enough now to know that logic cannot always be applied to every situation.  Some people are guided by a set of rules that (thankfully) didn’t get passed out to the rest of us.  Adolf Hitler, Rev. Jim Jones, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Goebbels, Mussolini.  These guys didn’t care about the feelings of those they hurt.  They did whatever they wanted.  They did whatever it took to please themselves.  They didn’t own the damage they inflicted.  Guilt was a foreign concept.  They didn’t spend moments reflecting and agonizing over the results and consequences of their actions.  They certainly didn’t apologize.  Just as the abusive husband blames the wife.  “She was asking for it….  She shouldn’t have pushed me.  She should have known better. ”  Bad guys never take the blame for their own actions.  That blame is much easier to place on everyone and everything around them.

Of course, I have never encountered anyone with the level of evil of men like Hitler or Stalin, but evil and corrupt behavior, whether on a large scale or a small scale, hurts people and destroys lives.  Yesterday I was stupid, and I blame myself for that.  It does me no good to ask the question, “WHY?”  There are some questions without answers.  There are some people beyond understanding.  Not everything in life is neat and tidy.  Not everything or everyone follows logic.

T and I took our usual 3-mile Power Walk after dinner.  He made me walk with him.  Well, he didn’t make me.  I said I was too tired, but he looked so disappointed that I said I would go.  I didn’t want to let him down.  He’s really excited that he has lost four pounds.  I have lost none!  The Power Walks seem to spark my hunger.  I am ready for a snack as soon as we’re back home.

Tonight as we walked, I was lagging behind on the hills.  Beating myself up is exhausting business.  I am beyond tired this evening.  I was griping and grouchy on each hill.  I was whiny like a child.  “It’s too hot.  Do we have to do the whole three miles?  Can’t we go home now?  I’m thirsty.”  T refused to let us cut the walk short.  At times, he grabbed my hand and helped me along.  As we headed up the last, and largest, hill near the end of the walk, he put his hand in the small of my back and told me to let him help me.  It was amazing!  He wasn’t even pushing me, but leaning into the weight of his hand made that last hill easier than all of the others.

That small action of encouragement meant so much to me.  He was helping me and being a friend, and I didn’t have to ask.  I didn’t have to beg.  I didn’t have to sell myself to him.  He didn’t care what I looked like.  (ponytail, glasses on, no makeup, sweaty, and grouchy)  He was helping me, because none of those surface things matter to him.  He was helping me, because he is a good person.  So simple, and so welcome, and just what I needed at the exact right moment.