Too Many of a Good Thing (I had this song stuck in my head while writing this post.)
*Note: I really need to get better at catching typos and grammar mistakes the first pass through.
I am entering the more enjoyable phase of pregnancy: mostly cravings, less nausea. It is pretty gratifying to take that first bite into a Bang Bang shrimp taco from BoneFish Grill. Satisfying through the last bite. Sometimes, the cravings turn off pretty quickly. When I was pregnant with my oldest, I suffered greatly from a need to recreate the taquitos from the on campus restaurant where I worked in college. One night, I realized that I had thrown away a bag once and they were the same brand I could buy in stores. I bought the biggest box I could and the first three times I made them were heaven. The fourth time, there was something about the taquito/sour cream combo that ruined it. I still don't really eat taquitos and sour cream is out completely when I am pregnant.
I find that my tolerance levels are the same with other things in life, especially when it comes to my faith. I also insist that people use words correctly and have an intolerance for overused words that also happen to be used incorrectly. Seriously, don't even talk to me about "zombies." These things together are just disastrous for my interactions with other people.
In college, the crowd I ran with was mostly Catholic. In retrospect, the vast majority of those people were just like me, and learning what it means to be Catholic as a young adult. That can be difficult to manage at times. A popular concept in our group was "accountability." Accountability is a good thing. I appreciate having people in my life that will be honest and tell me when I need to step it up. I know that their intentions are to help me be a better woman. This is a far cry from what "accountability" became in this instance.
It felt as though the more I tried to be accountable to the group, the more I just failed. My relationship wasn't good enough, my personality was lacking. In an effort to blend in, I even asked someone that I thought of as a mentor in a way to help me discern a college transfer. I was met with "Well, that school costs more, but your future husband will be the one footing the bill, so it probably doesn't matter." The rest of our conversation was filled with "accountability" messages that reflected this sentiment. After we were finished, the A word was an exasperation trigger. I couldn't handle the message being caked on like that, and I couldn't handle my life being an open book for those that had partial information under the guise of "accountability."
I am starting to feel the same way about the word "uncharitable." In the past few months, I have seen this word thrown around often to describe someone that just seems blunt from my perspective. Is charity toward others in conversation and in action a good thing? ABSOLUTELY. Should we strive to be charitable always? Sure! It is virtuous and good to show others love always. Should we be using it as a way to shame others? Nope.
|Taken from www.merriam-webster.com|
I see nothing in this definition that equates bluntness or (a slightly off) sense of humor with a lack of charity. Does being blunt mean you are not speaking out of love? No. Quite the opposite in my case. I am a terrible liar. I never got the hang of it. Honesty just comes out. That doesn't mean I don't know I have a filter problem, but it certainly does not equate to a lack of charity. Being honest often does seem to equate with charity, no? Does making a joke mean you are always speaking without love? No. I have a dry sense of humor, and every sense of humor in between. I didn't used to believe slap-stick comedy was my jam, but I've come around. If, instead of crying uncharitable, I was seeing admonishments for a lack of tact, I'd probably be inclined to agree.
I am far from perfect, but I like who I am. I feel more confident now in my 30s than I did in my teens and 20s. When I was 18 and 19, I tried too hard to change myself to fit in with others. Accepting myself, sarcastic wit, honesty, bluntness, and all is good. That doesn't mean I don't have room for improvement, just that virtuous behavior or words might not always look the same. A constant push for us all to be the same is one that I really have to rebel against.