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What if the one thing you hate about yourself is the very thing God absolutely adores about you?
This is something I have struggled with for my entire life. I have “The Big Heart Complex.” I give too much. I laugh too loud. I love too hard and way too persistently. I don’t give up on the people I love, even if they could care less about me. I’m willing to get up at 4:00 in the morning to volunteer for an English-language organization overseas, knowing full well there will be no great job offer or spot on the international stage. I am a bit of a glutton for punishment, but I do what I do because I cannot help but to love those I work with overseas.
For those of us who suffer from “The Big Heart Complex,” we are given this life of contrast. We experience and give great love from a source bigger than ourselves, but the contrast is that we endure great pain and suffering. We are often taken for granted until we pull our presence back in an attempt to give back to ourselves. Doesn’t it always seem that our absence is never noticed at the same time until we return?
We feel so deeply that we often appear unlucky in our lives. For some of us, our families might have rejected and abused us simply for existing and giving them that understanding they knew deep down they desperately needed. We experienced this rejection, hurt, and abandonment over and over. We endured the repeated ridiculing because we understood that they were hurting too. We saw their brokenness and their wounded inner child, and our response to it all was compassion. That ability to understand has helped us heal, but at the same time, it betrayed us.
The result of our existence? We learn to hate that big heart of ours. We learn that this great gift God gave us is more so a gift to the world, but a curse to our existence. We don’t get to see the fruits of our labors. Oftentimes, we have nothing to show for what we give. We don’t get the great guy/girl; we often get the ones who are in need of our understanding and compassion so they can go off and find the great guy/girl.
Our circle of friends is often small because it takes a great capacity to understand that there are some of us who may never get that lucky break. We give a lot but receive so little in return. We sit on the sidelines of life wondering if we will ever be able to participate fully without taking the slings and arrows of humanity’s pain and suffering. Rarely are we actually treated in the same way we give.
How do we learn to love this gift that has benefited so many around us yet has been such a source of pain for ourselves? We first remember that it is natural to begin to underestimate the great power that lies within us after years of wear and tear on the mind, body, and soul. Sometimes, we will go for what seems like forever without one validating moment. It is understandable for us to lose that appreciation for that gift that was given to us when it seems like the world just squanders what we give.
According to New Age belief, we attract what we believe about ourselves and/or the condition of our heart. Perhaps, these years of going unappreciated is reflecting to us the lack of recognition we forgot to give ourselves. It is a strange phenomenon because we do not want to be arrogant, yet we need to be able to look in the mirror and be able to say, “You’ve got something good to give to the world.”
So in the name of humility, we will degrade ourselves instead of giving simple appreciation of what we have within us. Recognizing that we have a good thing to give is not arrogance; in fact, it is much like taking inventory of our positive qualities and negative qualities. We look at the comparisons and contrasts to see where we need to make up on our deficits and maintain our strengths.
If we look at these from an objective perspective, we are less likely to condemn ourselves. When you feel the spirit of condemnation for anything, it is imperative to recollect that lower spirits/energy causes that—not God who is the source of love and everything good in this world.
God never condemns when we receive a revelation of what our hearts fall short of. Regardless if you acknowledge God in the Christian paradigm or New Age, one thing is for certain: there will never be any censuring for what you learned in an unhealthy environment. The next thing that is for sure is that God does not want you condemning yourself for a gift that was given to you to help both humanity and yourself. Appreciation begins with that tiny recognition that you have a gift, and that gift is good. If the gift is good and you are doing good, then it is without a doubt from God.
God gave us a capacity that some people do not have. This is why we are needed. Often, those of us who have “The Big Heart Complex” were abused, abandoned, and hurt as children. In a quiet moment, we decided that we would not become like our abusers. It was in that moment that God chose us. If you look at any movie with a superhero, they all have one thing in common: they were rejected, abandoned, left-behind, or the underdog, and they all demonstrated strong integrity along with a willingness to choose a higher road. They, too, have “The Big Heart Complex,” and the universe, gods, or however you want to call it, gave them a gift. This gift made them a part of a bigger plan to serve humanity. They became superheroes.
Now, you get to be that superhero. No, we won’t be like Captain America or Iron Man. However, that big heart of yours is your superpower. Not everyone gives the way you do. We all know superheroes have their sacrifices to make, just like we do, but in the end, we do what we do because we love.
The truth is that it is a blessing and a curse, but something up there (who I call God) is watching after us and making sure that nothing we do or give is done in vain.