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?