There’s someone in my life whom I used to be very close to (we were almost inseparable) but gradually over the years we’ve drifted so far apart that I find myself constantly asking, ‘how is it that two people who were so close can grow so far apart?’ It really baffled me and for the longest time the only answer I could come up with was that it’s because they changed into something detestable; because they decided to pick up every habit and behavior that I found worthy of disdain and disgust; because they’ve disappointed me in every way.
So for the longest time without realizing it I put 100% of the responsibility for the distance and animosity between us squarely on their shoulders. I went over every instance when their decisions disappointed, annoyed, angered, hurt, or disgusted me and saw that by all logic my assessment was correct and they were 100% at fault and deserving of blame.
How clever and cunning is the ego.
This was my logic and justification. It wasn’t until recently that by what can only be the grace of God I reviewed the “evidence” from a broader, less ego driven perspective. To my ego’s disappointment, I see now that the blame is not entirely theirs, and should not have been placed entirely at their feet. Because not only did blaming them prevent me from making any effort at reconciliation, but it encouraged me to add fuel to a fire that Satan was using to drive us apart.
So far apart.
[14:34] And He gives you all kinds of things that you implore Him for. If you count GOD’s blessings, you can never encompass them. Indeed, the human being is transgressing, unappreciative.
The interesting thing is that this person and I had a conversation once where they told me outright that part of the problems they had with me is that I was unappreciative of something they had done for me. My reaction at the time, and for weeks after, was to think “Ha! Me? Unappreciative? Please. Anything you did, it was because you wanted to. I never asked you for anything.”
How self-sustaining is the ego.
God tells us that we are unappreciative, and we are. We’re extremely unappreciative. Sure we may remember to thank God for the obvious big things that He grants us, or for the prayers that He answers but there are countless “little” and unexpected, unasked for blessings that we neglect to even take notice of, much less be appreciative of.
So when I was finally able to look past my ego and look back at our past interaction, while taking into account the things they said to me, I realized I’d been greatly unappreciative. There were so many instances where God provided for me through this person. Some times it was something “little” like a game or something, and other times it was for things I didn’t even realize I wanted or needed yet.
So many blessings God provided. But as I look back I can’t remember being thankful or showing much appreciation when I received them.
So, with this new clarity, by God’s grace I was allowed to see just how deeply, and how subtly, my ego had been influencing my behavior and driving a wedge between me and this person. I also saw how much of the “blame” that I had been throwing on them could easily be placed on me.
So with new clarity, a sense of shame, a sense of regret, and appreciation I thank God for opening my eyes to all the ways I’ve been unappreciative and ego driven. I pray that He guide and help me to amend my actions and my thoughts, and to be increasingly more appreciative of Him everyday for as long as I may live.
[2:286] GOD never burdens a soul beyond its means: to its credit is what it earns, and against it is what it commits. “Our Lord, donot condemn us if we forget or make mistakes. Our Lord, and protect us from blaspheming against You, like those before us have done. Our Lord, protect us from sinning until it becomes too late for us to repent. Pardon us and forgive us. You are our Lord and Master. Grant us victory over the disbelieving people.”