My Biggest Fear

My biggest fear has always been hurting people. I used to think that my biggest fear was that I would lose my battle with depression, that I would finally succeed in ending my life. I was afraid of anything that could hurt me because I thought about dying so much and so often that I feared I might not be able to stop myself if I had the means to end my life. But I realized that I ultimately feared killing myself because I knew it would hurt people.

My fear has decreased in the last few years, but I used to be terrified of hurting another human being. l was so scared that at one point, I tried to avoid people all together. Memories still haunt me occasionally of times that I unintentionally hurt someone.

On the other side of fear, though, is a burning desire to help others and make their lives a little better or easier or happier. My entire life has been dedicated to making others happy. It is my favorite thing to do. I cannot stop myself from wanting to do things for others.

Due to experiences growing up, I used to hate myself for my desires to do kind things for others. I believed that I was a flawed person that did not know how to help anyone and that the people I did things for might be offended or inconvenienced by my kind gesture. These thoughts sent me into a spiral of depression and self-destruction every time I did something for someone.

I remember the first time I did something for someone and wasn’t flooded with a wave of guilt afterward. I took a box of little gifts with a note on it to one of my friends and dropped it off on her porch after she had a rough couple of days. I treasure that memory because it was the first time I gave a gift to a friend without hating myself for it.

I absolutely adore Christmas because I get to give to others without feeling out of place or different from the rest of the world. I am grateful for the opportunities to serve and to give that Christmas offers. I am grateful for this time of year that makes my deepest desires seem normal. I wish we all treated each other as though every day was part of the Christmas season, maybe then I would not feel so out of place when I do something kind for another human being.

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Commit to Kindness

I have been having a lot of bad dreams lately. I wouldn’t call them nightmares. My bad dreams are just real life situations that could happen because of the things I live with. Autism, gender identity, depression, and suicide have all been themes of my bad dreams. I have dreams where I am yelled at, ridiculed and rejected, bullied and discriminated against, or simply not believed to the point that I feel there is no other escape but hurting myself.

The world is not always kind. My dreams remind me of that. But my waking hours remind me that there are kind people, that those dreams won’t always be realities. And that if something like that happened to me in real life, hopefully someone would come to my aid and show me kindness.

I don’t know what the future will bring, but I commit to being kind. I hope you will too.

A Good Person

When someone drops something, I naturally want to help them pick it up. When someone is hurting or sad or depressed, I naturally want to comfort them. When someone appears lonely or out of place, I naturally want to be their friend. When someone needs help, I naturally rush to their aid.

I naturally want to help people feel good about themselves. I naturally love people. I am naturally thankful. I desire to do kind things and let people know how much they are loved. I desire to always do good, to make others happy, to make the world a better place.

With all of these things that come naturally, with all of these good thoughts I have, you probably think I would consider myself to be a good person.  The reality is that I hate myself. I consider myself unworthy, not good enough, a mistake, and ultimately a bad person.

I feel like when I’m reaching out to help others, I am messing up. I feel like when I sit with someone who appears lonely, I am being annoying. I feel like when I drop off flowers or candy or a note on someone’s doorstep, I did it wrong. I feel like nothing I do will ever be good enough. I will never be good enough. I will never be enough.

I tried to explain this to a friend of mine. I tried to explain that when I have the urge to do something good, I feel wrong about it. Over the last couple years, I have dropped off many anonymous gifts at people’s homes. Every time I did, I came home and cried. I stepped into my room and fell to my knees, sobbing and wanting to die.

People see the good and think, “she’s such a good person.” I see the good and think to myself, “what makes you qualified to think you know how to help someone? What makes you worthy to do kind things? What makes you think that they will appreciate this?” In looking at the good that I do, I am not proud of it; I am ashamed. I hate myself for the good that I do just as much as I hate myself for the mistakes that I make.

I used to stop myself from doing good. I would force myself to shut up and sit down. I would insult myself until I felt so small and insignificant that I would not think I was capable of doing the thing I desired. I still feel like that, but I do good anyway. I follow my kind thoughts, no matter how much it hurts, or how hard it is, or how much I hate myself for it, I do not postpone a generous thought.

Why do I hate myself this much? Why do I believe I am a horrible person, worthy of pain and punishment? Why is doing good things so hard when it comes naturally? I’m not sure. Maybe partly because of experiences I had.

I remember being yelled at for trying to help. I remember feeling like a bad person because I tried doing something good, but I did it wrong and was told it was better to not do it at all if I couldn’t do it right. I remember being yelled at for trying to coordinate efforts for good. I remember over and over being told that I did things wrong, that I communicated wrong, that I was wrong.

Eventually, I believed it. I believed I was wrong. I am a bad person. I do not do good things, I just do things that are good in bad ways. I will never be enough.

Am I good? Will I ever be good? Will I ever love myself? I don’t know, but I am trying. I am trying to be a good person and to believe I am a good person. It is difficult. I still worry, but I do my best. Maybe one day I’ll believe that I am good, that I am worthy of love, that the good I do is enough, that I am enough. Until then, I will just do my best to keep doing good despite how I feel about it.

Everyone is Busy

Everyone is busy. Everyone feels sad or alone or overwhelmed sometimes. Everyone is living a hard life; no matter how easy it may seem on the outside, we all have our inner demons, our unseen struggles.

I tell myself that often. When I feel sad and alone and would just like a hug, I remind myself that sometimes I just have to be lonely because everyone has their own life to deal with. When I go out with a stack of candies or a bouquet of flowers to drop off at people’s houses, I remind myself that everyone needs something to help them be a little happier. When I write someone a letter or note or give them a compliment, I remind myself that everyone could think more positively about themselves, that everyone needs more positive thoughts to remember. When I sit next to someone sitting alone, I remind myself that everyone feels alone sometimes.

Life is hard. Doing things to make the world a better place is hard. Reaching out to others is hard. But I keep reminding myself that everyone feels that way. Everyone feels too busy to help someone else. So I must make the conscious effort to not be too busy.

Everyone is busy. Everyone is hurting. Everyone is facing their own demons. I understand. But if you find a little time, if you can spare a moment away from Facebook or studying or cleaning or watching shows (or even while watching a show), try to not be too busy to do something kind. Try to not be too busy to make someone’s day better. Try not to be too busy to love someone. We are all busy, but we could all use the extra kindness as well.

A Generous Thought

On the way to California, I listened to the book, Jacob T. Marley. It’s a really good book and I highly recommend it. Anyway, towards the end of the book it talks about Ebenezer Scrooge and says that he was the most well-known anonymous giver in London. Apparently I have the same problem at my church.

There are two conflicting mindsets in my head. The first is the quote, “Never suppress a generous thought.” The second is the anxiety, fear, and insecurity I have about myself and the good I try to do.

I have a lot of generous thoughts. I just know the world is hard and people are hurting, and I want to do all I can to make things better. But because the world is hard, I know that intending to do good doesn’t always mean that people will see it as good. Because of this, I greatly fear acting on my generous thoughts.

A couple nights ago, I wanted to do something kind. I gathered some supplies and intended to drop off a little gift at a few people’s houses. It was small and rather insignificant, but I was paralyzed. I didn’t want to go by myself, but I had no one who I could ask to go with me. I honestly drove around for a while and then just broke down and cried. When I finished, I went to the people’s houses and dropped off the gifts, then buried myself in studies for the rest of the night.

It is hard doing good. I know how hard it is. I panic every time I drop something off for someone. I get anxious and scared and have lots of breakdowns and tears. Yet, I still do it because I know that it makes a difference. In some small way, it changes things for someone. “Have courage and be kind.” Sometimes that is all we can do to make this world better.

Grateful for Friends

What would life be like if we didn’t have friends? I mean, sure we may still have family, but there are things that friends can do that family can’t. I remember a motivational speaker that told a story of a little boy who told him that he was being abused. When the speaker asked why he confided in him, he said everyone needs a kind stranger to tell their secrets to.

I think that’s why friends are so powerful. Family is great and most will be with you till the end, but we need kind strangers to tell things to. “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet.”

I am so grateful for the kind strangers that became friends. I am grateful for their listening ears, their encouraging words, and their kind gestures. I am grateful for their love, their understanding, and their sympathy. I am grateful for their time, their energy, and their light. I don’t know what I would do without the many friends that have come in and out of my life. I am so grateful for all of them.