Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bonds That Make Us Free: Chapter 7

Favorite quotes from today's reading.

Pg. 129: ". . . in large measure our humanity consists in our ability to sense and respect and respond to the humanity of others."

Pg. 130: "What does it take to achieve such emotional intimacy? The fundamental ingredient is an awakening of each individual to others and a willing effort to respond without any personal agenda in exactly the way that seems most right, considerate, and helpful."

Pg. 139: "This is the moral skepticism of a corrupted conscience, which experiences doing right by others as a drudge, a sacrifice, a favoring of others' needs over one's own--or else a self-righteous project for 'goody-goodies.' As we have seen, doing the right thing is never an easy, natural, welcomed opportunity for a corrupted conscience."

Pg. 146: ". . . When we abandon our resentments, we no longer live in a resented world. Others become real to us. We have a sense of how they feel and what will please them. and pleasing them is what we desire to do, because we have put away our resentment. That's precisely what happened to both Glen and Becky, each responding with more sensitivity and care to the other's growing sensitivity and care."

This chapter reminded me of the commandment to love others like we love ourselves--or, in this author's lexicon--be aware of other people's needs and meet them without feeling proud of ourselves for doing so or resentful because we had to. I'm trying to wrap my brain around what it would feel like to serve my children without feeling resentful of things like poopy underwear or a certain chatterbox being glued to my elbow. It seems so hard to take care of them because they ALWAYS need me. This isn't a friend needing a cup of sugar type deal--or even giving a kidney. This is an every day, energy sucking, demands-making, 110% commitment to other people. Mothers of young children have to CAREFULLY STRATEGIZE TO TAKE A SHOWER. In reading this book, I have the sense of truth as I read, but it is hard to imagine actually serving my family day in and day out without resenting any of it.

Yes, I recognize I chose to be a mom. Yes, I recognize I decided to have 5 children. Yes, I understand that the most important commandments have to do with serving others. It is the putting it into practice that I'm struggling with.

Anyway, this book has really made me step back and think about myself and my interactions with other people. I do remember a time when I wasn't so guarded in my personal interactions. I remember feeling so much happier then. I want that person back.


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