Fault Finding

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.

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7 Responses to Fault Finding

  1. ditchu says:

    This statment is so true: “I need to treat myself more “charitably.” Then I can work on being more charitable to others.”

    Good for you to have come to this realization that many would skip over without a second glance. I wish more of us understood better about charity.
    -D

  2. runtu says:

    Heh, I think that’s the first positive comment you’ve had here, ditchu. Thanks. I appreciate it. 🙂

  3. zackc says:

    Runtu said:
    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.
    ————

    This is me to a freaking T and I don’t think I ever hit rock bottom. Hope I don’t.

  4. ditchu says:

    Zack,
    I have hit rock bottom. Guess what, there is a pick axe there to chip at the rock so you can dig in deeper. I don’t suggest useing it. The climb is a B**** though I think I only half way back to where I started from.

    Runtu,
    I once said something else positive on your Blog, but it was quickly buried by a rash of discussion. I know we usually do not agree on many things but how borring would it be if we all agreed?

    -D

  5. zackc says:

    I think I’ve seen the pickaxe. Actually I always equated depression to being in a sea with no shores. There’s not even any firm ground at the bottom to get your bearings. You’re always at the will of the depression, and never have enough grasp on anything to get a grip on yourself. That’s what makes it soo difficult.

  6. Here’s the best thing I’ve read on these and related issues in a LONG time:

    http://mormonmatters.org/2008/06/18/dark-night-of-the-soul/

  7. SillyNut says:

    Runtu,

    I hear you on this point. I’m insanely hard on myself. No matter how good I do, I can always find something I should have done better, something I need to improve the next time. When I do something wrong, or god, when something wrong happens, I’ve been trained to minutely examine every thing that I did to see where I need to improve and what I can do better, even if the “wrong” thing wasn’t MY FREAKIN’ FAULT. It causes problems. Like never feeling like I can make right choices and succeed at what I do because I’m so flawed.

    I never hit as low as you. Fig did and in trying to understand him and where he was, I came to see where I was.

    Now I think “Will this end my world? Or someone elses? No? Then screw it.” It’s helped. 😀

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