People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
~ Mother Theresa
This quote rather amazes me. When I read it, it is one of those passages that I truly feel in my bones. I feel it in my heart. I know it is the way I want to behave, always and in all ways. But here is the catch: I am usually reading this type of message during my allotted “screen time” each day while sitting on my couch surrounded by the love of both 2 and 4-legged family members, sipping hot tea and letting my face mask dry. Rarely (ok, almost never) does something of this significance flash through my mind while someone who has envy, jealousy, mean, destructive and illogical actions is coming at me. Yesterday, I sat in civil court for over 3 hours waiting to defend myself against the harassment and malicious prosecution of the squatters in the unit next to me. I was not alone, as they are also suing other neighbors of mine for equally preposterous reasons. I don’t understand it. I don’t even know these people but they seem to be mentally disturbed and mean spirited, flying high with agendas way beyond their filed suits. I have long stopped asking the “Universe” why things happen as they do, thanks to “Wisdom.” However, how am I supposed to sit and hear horrible, wicked, hateful things about myself, that are blatantly defaming lies, and still induct the spirit and message of peaceful loving people like Mother Theresa? How am I to hold onto who I truly am when my blood feels like it is actually boiling due to this crime affecting me on personal and professional levels? How am I to forgive and love in this circumstance?
I’ve been thinking about this incessantly, especially after we did not receive a judgment, only a continuance. That’s right, I have to go back. I have to be near the darkness again. It isn’t over. My thoughts have lead me to that familiar place; that place where love and hate are not mutually exclusive but standing next to one another, existing simultaneously.
I can love that these are fellow humans, once dependent little babies. I can have compassion for their motivation, their need for money, their sense of desperation and at the same time, I can hate this experience, their actions and the resulting stress falling down on my family. I can forgive them but I can hate the damage, the disappointment, and the fear that has been mustered up in my fairly charmed life. I can love my life, have faith in it and trust that all that is in play is meaningful and needed and I can hate the gut twisting feeling of injustice and victimization. I can love and hate at the same time and I think it is really important.
Maybe that is really the gist of what Mother Theresa was saying. Maybe, despite feeling the blast of destruction aimed right at me, I heard her words anyway.