There are a few people who I believe are meant to be in my life. From our beginnings, our lives were meant to cross. Our shared, and even unshared, experiences are meant to accent each other, to pull from each other the best of ourselves.
I don’t mean that these certain people are easy–far from it. They are difficult. They are demanding, self-centered, and in many ways self-destructive.
But so am I. So how do we “save/help” each other?
The “how” comes through recognizing the similarity in the flaws that make us difficult. The same flaws that cause us to ignore good and get in bed with evil. The same flaws that cause us to lie, cheat, steal, even murder.
The means of exhibiting those flaws may be different for each, but the root causes of an evil action are the same for all. It is one of these:
Lust (excessive sexual appetites) in opposition to Chastity (purity)
Gluttony (over-indulgence) in opposition to Temperance (self-restraint)
Greed (avarice) in opposition to Charity (giving)
Sloth (laziness/idleness) in opposition to Diligence (zeal/integrity/Labor)
Wrath (anger) in opposition to Forgiveness (composure)
Envy (jealousy) in opposition to Kindness (admiration)
Pride (vanity) in opposition to Humility (humbleness)
And why should we care? Why should we even try to “help/save” each other? The reason ‘why’ is that the image of God is mirrored in each of us. We must love each other because of that, even if it is not an emotional love.
Loving each other will always be difficult. And sometimes we’ll actually hate the effort. We may even give up, throw it all to the wind. I’ve done that, too.
When that happens, I eventually, and humbly, remember my own words:
Love isn’t a symbol. It’s an irritant, and it will cost you some skin….Sarah Neal Bridgeman, A Hunger in the Heart.
So, what can I do? What can any of us do? Only one thing. Keep trying, for ourselves, and for each other. We simply can not give up.