My secret subject is: Sept is Back to school time. What's one thing you've learned recently?
It was submitted by: http://thelieberfamily.com
I like to think that I learn something new about myself, the people I love, or humanity every day, so selecting just one thing was tough, but this particular lesson has been the hardest this past year and has come up more than once, so here it goes...
|just one box of many|
But, over the last year as I have extended my hand through writing inmates (i would say offenders but a couple I firmly believe are actually innocent) more and more than ever before while I have the time, desire, and energy to do so, I have had to come to terms with some hard lessons about not getting burned out, not taking on too much, and, perhaps hardest of all, that not everyone is capable of receiving and benefiting from help and support.
That last one is a kicker because it really goes against my natural instincts, but it’s the absolute truth. That truth has been a bit difficult to swallow, but I have been learning how to let go and focus my energy on people that will truly benefit and appreciate my time rather than giving my efforts to those who are filled with hate and have an inability to change.
I don’t like to give up. It just isn’t in me to give up especially on a person that in my very core I know needs someone to grow with, to learn from, and to matter to… This year, though, has really put that part of me to the test, the part that ends up sticking with things too long and putting other people’s needs before my own. This year I had to learn how to decide whether it would be me or them, and I learned how to choose me without feeling incredibly guilty or feeling like a failure.
Writing people who are in prison, as I have said before, is always a gamble. Even with the best of research, you never know how things will turn out and what a person will really be like. I have had a few bad experiences under my belt over the years, but when it didn’t work, it was a mutual decision to cut things off. This year when I expanded the number of people I write to hoping to help as many as I can take on and pushing the boundaries of how much I can do (like always), I changed the ratios on the gambles I take. The number of people I put myself out there with grew as did the chances they could be the kind of people that are unable to connect with others, who use and abuse people, who prey on the people they think are weaker. Research is nothing compared with interaction. I took the risk a number of times this year. Sometimes those risks paid off, and I made great strides in making friendships with people I have really grown *with* and have been able to develop friendships with, to provide support to, and to enjoy as fellow human beings who need just that—to feel their own humanity. More often this year, though, the risks have turned out for the worst. I met people who were miserable, who hated themselves or specific groups of other people to the point that rational conversation wasn’t possible. I met people who refused to take responsibility for their words much less their actions and who really wanted nothing more than maybe a dirty letter or someone to feel sorry for them, someone to talk AT, or to use.
So, I had to let go. And, I had to teach myself that it’s okay to do so. Sometimes giving up is the *right* thing to do.
Learning that has made what I do a lot easier and taken some of the responsibility I tend to feel about saving the whole world off my shoulders. Not everyone can be saved; not everyone wants to be. I have to be okay with that and give my superhero complex a rest.
Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:
http://www.BakingInATornado.com Baking In A Tornado
http://themomisodes.com The Momisodes
http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com The Bergham’s Life Chronicles
http://stacysewsandschools.blogspot.com/ Stacy Sews and Schools
http://dinoheromommy.com/ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy
http://spatulasonparade.blogspot.com/ Spatulas on Parade
http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/ Sparkly Poetic Weirdo http://www.southernbellecharm.com Southern Belle Charm
http://www.angrivatedmom.wordpress.com The Angrivated Mom
http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch Confessions of a part time working mom
http://thelieberfamily.com The Lieber Family Blog
http://www.clutteredgenius.com Cluttered Genius
http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver
http://www.someoneelsesgenius.com Someone Else’s Genius
http://houseofjchronicles.blogspot.com/ House of J Chronicles