Crossing the T

Life at the intersection of Church and Trans with Rev. Allyson Robinson

Can I Quote You? St. Ignatius of Loyola on self-sacrifice

Teach us to give and not to count the cost.

St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), spiritual director and founder of the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits).  Today is his feast-day.

And a comment from me: Even in my most passionate activism, and even in my relationships with those I love the most, I am so quick to think of myself first.  May I learn to ignore my selfish instincts, which objectify and dehumanize those I am called to serve, and give without hesitation to the utmost measure.

(Thanks to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.)

1 Comment»

  Samantha wrote @

You know, this is an interesting concept. I find it interesting that you say “I am so quick to think of myself first.” Because believe it or not, that’s been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to learn. To think of myself at all, let alone first at times when the personal cost to me is higher than any possible benefit to the lessening of someone else’s suffering.

To whit: If I lessen, or even remove completely, someone else’s suffering, but increase my own, what is it that I’ve done?

For years, that’s the way I lived. The poster child for battered lives, everything I did for others was so selfless that I spent more time digging myself out of trouble than it was really worth. See the problem was, it had been literally beaten into me by my father since I was five. Funny that, because I figured out a few years back that he so didn’t want me, but may not have had anything to do with my coming into this world. Which alone would have meant a harder life for me to start with. Then of course getting kicked out of kindergarten on the first day because I was a girl, but had been assigned the wrong gender, did little to endear me to him. The rest of my years with him were a living hell of constant abuse. I internalized everything, including my own wants, needs and desires and focused entirely on jumping when expected to for whatever crazy reason.

My Husband was in so many ways a clone of my father, and I fell back into the same old patterns I’d had for years. Never even thinking about myself, let alone considering what was good for me. I was stupid in love, and gave up everything for the crumbs of positive attention he gave me. I didn’t get wise so much as the love I’d felt early on, was long gone, and I knew I was in deep trouble when I had to ask him for a hug. My own husband. I had to ask him to give me a hug, and it felt as empty and lifeless as our marriage had become.

It’s been one hell of a long road to get here, and to be honest, GID was cake compared to what Earl put me through. I wish I was even kidding.

Now, I know, and really understand how important my own health and happiness is. How I really do have to think of myself sometimes before I just jump. Would I say I always think of myself first? Hardly, it’s still something I have to stop myself and say “Sam, what are you doing here and why? If everyone else was going to jump off the bridge, would you? Why? How does it serve you? How is this putting yourself first?”

It’s been a long hard road. One I’d not wish on anyone. Protect your ability to think of yourself first.

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