Tonight my husband and two oldest children are away camping. My mom is also out of town so I got take out and had dinner with my dad. After dinner we watched a documentary about a Jewish Ghetto in Shanghai during World War II. It was kind of depressing but I appreciate my parents for being the kind of people who do things like this on a Friday night.
On my way home it was quiet and I was thinking about the people from the movie. Then I had one of those moments where I realized how I’m not so good.
[Pause: I am not writing this post to fish for compliments. Please don’t leave a comment telling me I am good, because no offense, I know me better than you. I’m writing this for expression and because I’m curious if you have those moments. Please comment and say that you do. ]
I realized tonight that I am what President Uchtdorf calls a “cloud without water.” Ugh. This realization feels awful. I know what is right, I know what it means to be good, but I lack in the execution. I’ll give myself a little credit and say that occasionally I come through with my actions and they demonstrate my intellectual understanding of goodness, but even still I lack in the feeling. There is no charity. And I absolutely believe that true charity brings joy I’ve yet to know.
I guess the good news is that I’m not in denial.
But the bad news is that tomorrow the realization will probably fade away and I will go on justifying my selfish behavior. Richard and I were talking recently about how hard it is to change your desire. You can argue up and down that you desire to be charitable but if your heart is judgemental and unkind it becomes clear that what you really desire is the satsifaction you get from others misfortunes or the feelings of superiority that come when you point out to yourself the faults of others. I have realized that I cannot change the uncharitable parts of my character until I have changed my fundamental, possibly instinctive, desire to place myself above others. I fear it might take something drastic for me to accomplish that change.
Now that is a scary realization.