Happy Thursday All,
The Saint of the Day today, January 10th, is Saint Gregory of Nyssa. Read about his life by clicking on his name. St. Gregory of Nyssa – Pray for us!
I am sharing the below with you because:
- …it is real.
- …we all have periods where we revert back to middle school feelings of “not good enough”.
- …those of us who move across the world from friends and families have days where we feeling almost as if we are trying out for friendship with people… “hey, am I good enough?” “are they always going to nix my ideas?’
I’m sharing this with you because I know I can do better, and I want let you know it’s ok if you feel these things. I want to encourage you to BE YOU. Be the light God made you to be. People will eventually see the light, don’t let them snuff You out. In other words, don’t make the same mistakes I do.
Leviticus 19:17-18 was the first reading today. I have to admit, this is hard for me sometimes.
For instance when I first moved to Italy, I encountered a couple people in the Catholic Parish that were very unwelcoming. There’s a lot more to the story but I’ll leave it there. I am not saying that these people were the only ones at fault, they were unwelcoming and quick to judge on several occasions, and I was ugly about it. I’m not normally an ugly person but I think being overwhelmed about moving to another country, being nervous, feeling like a junior high girl that has to prove that I’m worthy of friendship, and frankly just being lonely and bewildered lent to my reaction to these women. When I apologized for my part in it, it was not well received as they did not see their part. I am not good at conflict.
I was an Event/Meeting planner at one point in my career and excel at putting together Events/Parties. And Hospitality/Welcoming people is my specialty, which is why I am very conscious of other people’s lack of hospitality/welcome. Plus, some people just put off airs that they can’t be bothered with others. Lastly – I never lived the actual military life as an adult, where you move every few years, and that has to be hard. So I really am not here to pass judgment on them, just giving you background.
I am feeling guilty this morning and have been for a week or so. You see, I went to the Priest and another Church Council member about the lack of community/hospitality/communication at the Parish. And eventually we decided that I would head up the Hospitality Committee, and then I noticed things Father had talked to me about were being done by these women who I perceived did not like me and would never accept my ideas, or me in that position… and then I panicked about past experiences with women who bully and decided that I had severe dislike for these women and thought all kinds of uncharitable thoughts. I took the position because I believe welcoming people and creating community is one of the most important things. I excepted, and then a couple days later I declined. What this all amounted to was that I chickened out.
I was here, without my lifelong friends, without family for the holidays, I felt self-conscious and unwelcome and I decided I hated it here, and hated them, and I started walking down a path where I was allowing myself to pick it all apart, instead of learning how things run here and helping institute positive change. Hate is a strong word, but the devil is a strong force. So much has gone wrong here that it’s hard to put the angst I felt even into words. The roller coaster of feeling like I wanted to leave my husband and our faith and that no one cared… and having to fake my way through it like I was the happiest person on earth… Sigh. Let’s just say it was all bigger than me. I was spiraling. The couple years of BAD had finally broken me. Italy broke LadyEm!
Yesterday, was the first women’s meeting I have attended since my first unwelcome experience. In the previous meeting, I will share with you that several of us new people stood there, and then sat down, and not one current member of the women’s group greeted us. No one had on name tags… honestly no one even spoke to us. It was not a great experience. And when I suggested name tags and other things, privately, I was rebuffed. It was hard for me to walk back into it. But I invited a new friend and I knew that there would be one other person there I knew. So I went anyway. And I survived. There were even name tags, and Father came by to say hi. Did the leaders introduce themselves to new people – nope. But that’s ok, it’s on them. I guess it’s just not who they are, and I can’t let it diminish my experience here.
This evening is the first meeting of the hospitality committee. Our Priest wants me to come. I really want to head it up, but after backing out, I know I will take a support role and I’ve been battling my ego for a couple weeks. Yesterday at the above-mentioned meeting, I said I probably would not be there because I hate to drive at night. This is true, I have no depth perception and could easily back out. But I don’t want to further let Father down, and I don’t really know what to do.
But I do know this. I broke more than one commandment with my thought process and actions. It’s weighing so heavy on me. Confession is not readily available here in Italy. One Priest, three bases, 1/2 hour confession a week, unless you make an appt. sigh… but I need to go and I will make that happen.
I share this with you because I want you to know that when you are spiraling out of control – as depicted above with my train of thought – that God still has you. You are NOT alone. Why else was the meeting scheduled today? When God knew I would read the above and know that I have been very wrong…. and then encourage me to get up and come down to my cold office to write this up, to help someone else who needed to know:
God loves you and wants you to live bravely and assuredly in His word. Fear not, my brothers and sisters in Christ… He is with you. Don’t fall into the sin of self-doubt, for it is lead by EGO and PRIDE! And you know the saying, Pride goeth before the fall.
I don’t really know how to “get over myself” because I am a work in progress. BUT – I can tell you that I feel God working in me. I know I don’t have to LIKE everyone I meet, but I must not HATE or show contempt either, because that is a sin against God. And really, when you think you aren’t good enough, that is self-hate, and it’s also a sin against God.
Sigh. Pray for me. I don’t know if I will serve on the committee or take a role of helping when I can.
But I know I need your prayers. I want to be the Light I am. I don’t want to give into fear, angst and ego. I’ve been here before and it’s NOT pretty.
Can you relate? Let us love one-another. If someone is not welcoming, you be welcoming. If someone is not nice, pray for them. Don’t let Hate seep into your thoughts, it affects your heart and soul. God commands us to LOVE! Be the One who LOVES!
DO NOT BEAR HATRED FOR YOUR BROTHER (and Sisters) IN YOUR HEART!
As I told someone recently – Italy Broke LadyEm! Sigh. Pray for me. I’m praying for you, I promise.
I promise to be back and on a happier note soon.
I hope this helps at least one person.
Love, Hugs & Blessings,