When you care, as you care, caring can show and teach you many aspects about caring itself. Things such as the when of caring, the many how to(s) of caring, and the what am I truly caring about…for example:

When is an effective time to act on caring? 

How are some of the ways I’ve attempted to act caringly actually worked out? 

What, if anything, did I learn that I might could try differently as I continue to adapt and evolve and expand my awarenesses about caring?

These are routine and non-judgmental questions to any and all of the human interactions that I attempt to mindfully review in my ongoing intention to continue to care,

and to care more expansively and, to the best I am able,

less awkwardly. 

I discovered early that I care so much that it hurts. I am far from the only person to have gone through this. However, rather than opting to lessen my caring, I chose to learn how I might care as much—with less of the hurt and confusion. And, apparently, the hurt and confusion felt was not just on my end of the interactions.

I may not know anything more from my journey through this experience except for this: It was not my intention to go around caring constantly, only to have this trying bring me constant emotional heartburn. As young as I was, I was also quite unfamiliar and unskilled in the art(s) of loving communication. I was all elbows and knees emotionally early on, as the saying goes about the gangliness of youth.

I cared. I tried. I was unskilled. I cried. I chose to learn in the direction of caring.

I believe that about sums it up for more than just me.

Which, of course, brought me (us?) directly to the entrance chute of the mental loop and/or trap of perpetual self-diminution. 

First, thoughts such as these begin to circle: I won’t ever be able to care enough. I will never make a big difference or have a huge impact or be able to move the needle significantly about anything. Then, I console myself with the virtual pat on the shoulder:

                                  “I tried my best again. I did a little good…”

and I try to leave it there, and, sometimes—many times, I cannot. As I go around and around in this thought loop, I hardly noticed that the consolation acknowledgment to myself shifted ever so slightly to: 

                                                      “I did little good.” 

It’s so easy to miss. The subtlety has far-reaching ripples. Emotionally, the self-speak has morphed into a lament with a sprinkle of self-pity. 

The difference between the modest truth,  

                          I did a little good             

and the enormous falsehood that I begin to believe that,

                                                                I did little good

                                                                                          is the simple letter

a

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