About a week ago, I let go of an organization that I founded and of which I was the Executive Director.
For about a year prior to the inception of the organization, and then the three and a half years running it, I poured every last ounce of my heart and soul into it.
I loved it.
Man, did I love it.
And I fought for it, working to network with others, doing everything possible to create something that had meaning, purpose and made the world a better place.
So, as you can imagine, it was heartbreaking for me to let it go. I will not go into all the reasons here as to why that needed to happen, but let’s just say that if I kept it going, it would have been for selfish reasons.
I sent out a mass email. I poured out my heart, and I WEPT to the point of an inability to even see the screen as I typed. Upon completion, I held my hand to the screen, prayed over those words, and pressed the decisive SEND key.
And then it happened.
That is, next to nothing happened.
I received less responses than I have fingers on one hand.
And here is where my mind has gone all week (in no specific order)::
Well, obviously, everyone knew I would fail.
People are busy.
I am irrelevant.
I am going to build a fortress around my heart and not one person is getting through – EVER.
Clearly, I mean a lot less to others than I thought since I am not worth a one minute response.
It’s okay, don’t take it personally. People really are busy.
What could I have done differently? Am I abrasive? Did I hurt them and not know it? Did I…?
People have their own lives and issues happening. It’s not personal.
Has this ever happened to any of you?
So, that’s me being vulnerable. And in that vulnerability, I can tell you that I do have a safe place to go to where I can share all of those feelings and receive comfort – both here on earth and the otherworldly by a much greater proportion.
I will be okay.
I think we still have a great deal of work to do in this area.
We love to taut the verbiage that outwardly proclaims that we are all about community, about advocating on behalf of others, about this cause, that cause, joining hands and hearts, setting up our authentic brotherhoods and sisterhoods,
I think we still struggle with actually KNOWING HOW to demonstrate empathy.
In fact, I would say that we often shy away from it. Perhaps we find excuses, masking it as busy-ness, use a bit of rationalization to convince ourselves that the person hurting does not need (or if we are honest, might not even be worthy) of OUR response.
Or we choose to respond to those with whom it is just easier to empathize.
This is not easy for me to share.
And please understand me that this is by NO means a “poor me” post.
Perhaps, this is simply a battle cry.
Can we stop using a measuring stick to determine who is worthy of love and who is not?
2 thoughts on “Into The Void”
Carrie, oh my gosh, I just read this and now I’m feeling so awful that I didn’t respond before!! You asked if anyone has ever felt this before (when you share something so important and don’t get feedback). And my answer is, YES!! And for that, I should have known better and responded because I DO know what it feels like to pour your heart out and not feel heard. I think for me, the reason I didn’t say anything, was because I was worried that whatever I said would sound insignificant or insincere. My initial reaction was to just say “I’m so sorry that you had to let go of your passion because I know how hard you worked for it”. But for some reason, I just didn’t think that was “enough”. Like, I almost thought that would sound insensitive …. for something so monumental, and all you get out of me is an “I’m sorry”. But I really should have put more thought into a response, because I DO know how hard you worked for that. 😦 So with that said, I REALLY am sorry you had to give up something you worked so hard for, and I really do hope you can still fulfill your passion in some other avenue!!! And I want you to know also, that my reason for not responding was NOT your #1 reason of people thinking that you were going to fail anyway!!! In fact, I always admired what you were doing!!!! I feel like I just go to work everyday, and come home, and do it all over again the next day. I don’t do anything to change peoples’ lives or make the world a better place, and I always think that you have such a big heart for the young women who are being lied to and then forced into something they never saw coming. So anyway, please know that I think you are such a special person, and I think the world of you for your determination and everything you have accomplished.
YOU make a huge difference. I know this for a fact because you were VERY instrumental in helping my family find a place to live when we moved.
Never underestimate what you contribute to the world around you.