Sometimes you sit down to write a post and realize you’ve already written it. I started writing today about how crushing it is when, after crafting a life that you’re proud of, that you feel is a life of integrity, people think your values are stupid and that what you do is unimportant and unimpressive.
But I already wrote about that, and about the grace of living in a bubble. That post concludes with the story of a party I went to:
… I knew very few people. I usually relish such experiences: new friends! New interesting people to talk to! This crowd was different, however. There was plenty to talk about, but it was a lot about financial ambition and steering children into “more practical” majors in school.
In the middle of the night I cried for about an hour. It took me until morning to realize why: I felt ashamed. I was surrounded by people who didn’t value who I was or what I did. They spoke a different language and lived in a different world and I tried to be dismissive but in truth I was ashamed. I was *just* a teacher and *just* a singer and I had *only* studied music and theology.
As I wrote previously, I set out on this path because I knew it was right. But the shame I felt for having made these decisions made me realize it had been far too long since I had checked in, and been reminded that this is a path of integrity and grace….
I don’t do what I do because I am a failure. I do it because it was my response to the call of God. I have nothing to be ashamed of.
I suppose the only thing I can add to that today is that, no matter how painful it is to selfishly want my heart to be validated in the eyes of the world, it must be even harder to do just what the world asks you to do, and realize that you are not validated in your own heart.
I think you’re important and impressive! I don’t know that I’ve ever felt ashamed in these situations, though. Perhaps uncomfortable enough to want to change the subject to more neutral ground, but not ashamed of myself. Actually, more often I just get angry at other people for not understanding what (I think) life is about. Shame, for me, comes from realizing that my actions have not lived up to my values.
Ah yes, the anger. I have a fair amount of that too, of course.
And I think you’re important and impressive too!!!
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