Someone I know has long chastised me for having an “uncharitable” attitude toward the LDS church and its leaders, and I have often wondered how much truth there is in that. I look back and think that I’ve tried very hard to be charitable and kind towards others, including my church.
In fact, I have kind of a major character flaw in this regard. I have a hard time imagining that other people don’t always want to do what is good and right. I sometimes think that, even in doing evil, people rationalize that they are doing what is right. It has taken a lifetime to stop fooling myself into believing the best about people.
So, as far as the LDS church goes, I expect the same thing: I think most church members and leaders are trying to do the right and good thing, and I’m surprised and disappointed when they don’t. But I try not to hold a grudge.
Ironically, the one person I am hardest on is me. I do hold grudges against myself, if that makes sense. When I make a mistake (and I make mistakes all the time), I really get down on myself and have a hard time forgiving myself. And when I screw up again, I forget that I even made an effort to be better.
This constant self-flagellation isn’t very healthy, and it took a near-suicide to make me rethink what I was doing. Since that time (almost a year ago), I have been better at forgiving myself and giving myself the benefit of the doubt. I know deep down that I am trying to do what is good and right, but I don’t always succeed.
What I need to do is to allow myself to fail and then get back up and do better the next time. I need to treat myself more “charitably.” Then I can work on being more charitable to others.