Thursday, January 8, 2015

TBT -- Caring too much

Today's Throwback Thursday goes back a few years to January 2011. Recently, this topic came up again and I was chided by someone else. Yes, I could have a more carefree life. No doubt. If only I cared less about people and about causes, then I could relax each night and not stress about anything. But that would benefit no one but me. 

I see this happening more and more -- people caring only about their own happiness. That's what life is all about for them -- the pursuit of happiness. But it's just not what I'm about. And I hope it never will be. 

"Helping Hands" by Irene Marie Dorey


Caring too much

A family member recently criticized me for “caring too much.” That was a slap in the face I did not expect. She said, “Well, you do. You always know people who have traumatic things happening to them and you get too involved. I mean, you and Bill are always off visiting people in the hospital. That’s ridiculous. They probably don’t even want you there. A card would be enough.” Wow.

So, herein lies the question: is it possible to care too much? When a friend, family member or simply an acquaintance is in need, should we put their needs on the care-o-meter and measure just how involved we should get? Or should we go with our instincts to reach out and do just that? What are your thoughts?

Maybe we do care too much. When I see my husband praying for someone he does not even know and I reach out to wipe away a tear from his eye, perhaps I should just slap him silly and tell him to knock it off! I tend to think I would be the one in need of prayer then!

I know people whose main goal in life is to be happy. That’s fine for them. But I just cannot wrap my mind around that concept. Do I think we shouldn’t seek happiness? Not at all. I am happy much of the time. But I simply refuse to sacrifice my compassion for others who are hurting so that I can live in La La land, singing happy little ditties and laughing my life away. That might suit my purposes, but I live under the guise that life is not just about me. And I recognize that it is all about balance. After all, I would not be a good wife, mother, friend or grandmother if I were completely wrapped up in the cares of the world. It is good to sing little ditties and engage in some hearty belly laughs. And there is certainly loads of room for that in my life.

But my challenge to you in this new year is to live lives worthy of the same kind of criticism – that you care too much. Let’s make this Green Grandma community a community of extreme caring, of compassion, of grace. We can care about the environment all we want, but if we are not caring about the finest of God’s creation – his people – what good is it? We can do both, because, after all, we are amazing.

Caring for you deeply,

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