If you are strong, you will be misunderstood

…[it is] everyone’s story, every last one of us could have done more, a creation or two more than we have done, and while it is our own fault, it is not all our own fault, and so I still feel rage at the cowardice of our time which has ground down all of us into the mediocre compromises of what had been once our light-filled passion to stand erect and be original.”

-Norman Mailer

People are going to make demands upon a strong person.

They are going to be drawn to you – your energy, your joy, your optimism, your accomplishment, your kindness, your peace, dependability, trustworthiness. Your potential.

They will see and know, instinctively, here is someone I can trust. Here is someone who can help me.

And you can.

But not all the time. Not without your own needs met in the meantime.

“The poor will be with you always,” said Jesus. The ones who need something will be with you, around you, near you, needing you, always.

Not that we should ignore or forget them, no.

But that we must realize this: the needs are endless. We will never meet them all.

To help those in need (whatever that need looks like) isn’t a thing you can do in an afternoon off, or a free weekend, or a month of dedication, or a even in a few years of service.

It’s a lifetime of giving and helping, to be someone who meets needs.

It takes a lifestyle of wisdom and maturity to live this way.

Ongoing generosity means that you can’t try to meet every need. It means you can’t let guilt or fear be your motivation.

You have to learn to rest, to say no, to handle conflict, to be misunderstood.

You will be misunderstood.

Some needs you will choose not to meet. Some needs you will wish, but be unable, to meet. You will say No. In either case, you may well be decried as selfish, greedy, arrogant.

Don’t let that stop you from helping as you can, when you should, as you are able.

Just remember that you are the only one who can decide which needs are yours to meet, and which needs must go by, untouched, to someone else who is waiting and ready.