Friday, March 5, 2010

Personal Confusion

I have always been merciful to people in trouble. As a teenager, I convinced a my mother to take in someone whose dad kicked her out of the house at 19. I was fourteen or so. Aside from drinking my mother's wine, which had sat untouched for years anyway (mom was a beer drinker), there were no ill effects.

Since that time, I've let ex-girlfriends sleep on my couch (got punched), let someone very poor but leaving her spouse live in my home virtually free (she grew pot in my house thereby putting it at risk of legal issues), loaned someone who needed a car desperately my car (and got put through the ringer but it looks like there will be no great financial damage) and of course, the mercy I showed a prior group member was a spectacular kick in the crotch. At least, that mercy I understand was off base.

So, I'm struggling with the idea of why when I help someone with major life issues  I end up getting kicked for it? It doesn't seem to matter if someone is trying to do harm or not (only one did), I always get kicked.  I'm thinking this has something to do with Kedemel's words about my relationships not being in proper alignment. The words made a lot of sense in some very obvious ways. However, I'm not sure how that is a factor here.

I could be cold and callus and not help folks when they are in desperate need. However, I do not want to live like that. On the other hand, I don't want to get kicked for being kind either. Maybe I am too merciful and don't have enough severity. Those at work though would say the opposite. So, maybe it is balanced in the whole but not in it component parts. Maybe it has nothing to do with mercy or severity but something else.

I am at a bit of a loss on this one.


Anonymous said...

Yes. it is about balance. you are being too hard on yourself and too easy on others. you dont have to save the world. who will be there to pick up the pieces and help others that might benefit from your assistance if you have shut yourself off from the world and become apathetic? the universe and the divine is not a closed system and youre seriously affecting any growth that may occur if you dont let yourself be sentient part of it. someone who has been "kicked" or "battered" doesnt get abused everyday or every hour or every minute, but the self-abuse is on-going from the lack of self-respect.

Jack Faust said...

I think you might appreciate this:

Susanne Iles said...

I've been through this countless times and finally learned to help others by directing them to options that allow them to help themselves. Instead of having a revolving door policy in your own, personal space, perhaps meeting those who need help on neutral ground and working out solutions would be healthier for all. Just an idea. It would be terrible for someone like you to lose or deny your compassionate nature through the ill intentions of others.

Amethyst said...

I am confident that if you thought about this while in a less frustrated and pessimistic state of mind, you would be able to come up with a list of at least equal length of times you were *not* screwed for doing nice things. I suspect that if you thought about it for long enough, you could even make a list of times you helped people and were positively rewarded in some meaningful way.

Frater POS said...

Amethyst, Of course you are correct, in a way. I've done things that were a big deal and was told that I literally saved a life. I've done little things like finding a job for someone with no ill effects. However, there have been way too many of the other sort of event take place.

Frater POS said...


Well, I am too hard on others in various circumstances too. Not sure I'd agree that my helping others comes from a lack of self-respect. If so, Mother Theresa must have been really f---ed up! (Grin).

Some of my personally alchemical work comes from may be termed a lack of self-respect as there were parts of me that needed mending. I've done a good job on those. Still more work to do. Overall, I can now recognize good with the bad for lack of better terms.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. Perhaps getting kicked is part and parcel of the process we all have to go through to learn to "be the nice guy" in a world that seems to punish people for being too nice sometimes. Maybe it teaches us to be kind despite what we may receive in return.
However, that said, perhaps he meant you weren't establishing personal boundaries firmly or clearly enough in your relationships? I don't know. I'm just throwing things out there.

gracesong815 said...

Perhaps the balance lies in clearly establishing personal boundaries within your relationships?

Monsignor Scott Rassbach said...

I've been through this countless times and finally learned to help others by directing them to options that allow them to help themselves.

As a priest, I have to simply say: THIS. You can help by being a facilitator, and by giving your time without giving your personal space or leaving yourself open. Prayers, good wishes, and ear, and resources will help those who are truly having a hard time, while weeding out those who simply want to take advantage of you.

I know someone who, through their own decisions, is getting evicted. I could let her stay in the room in my basement. But, I've learned. I have another friend who needs a short term renter. I hooked them up. If it works, great. If not, it isn't my issue. The main thing is to do what you can, and to define 'what you can' in a very limited manner and expanding it as you find that what you can expands.

Also, I recommend printing out the definition of the word 'No' in a large, clear font, and putting it over your workspace so you see it a lot. I was given that as a wedding present, and have used it to good effect many times. :)