The pain in ‘doing good’

by Anonymous, Australia

As a kid I was totally confused. I grew up in a religious family and we always attended mass. I listened to many sermons that spoke about respect, love, compassion, solidarity, faith and how to treat others. These sermons were conducted by a priest who most of the kids found pretty scary, the words he shared were clearly not what he lived, yet no-one questioned this. My parents were very well respected in the parish community. Everyone told me I had wonderful parents because they helped out and did a lot for the church and were very nice. What I struggled with as a child was that all of these things were spoken about in church yet in day-to-day life people weren’t living loving relationships.

My parents were good people but they had no idea how to show any affection or true love. My mum had a very abusive childhood and was holding these issues which then impacted on all her relationships. She wasn’t coping with her past and so was not able to really connect or have deep relationships with anyone in her adult life. It was saddening to watch how her relationships with her siblings were in constant turmoil and how the family started to break down and family members who were once close refused to have anything to do with each other. As a child I would question her about this and ask why she wasn’t speaking to her sisters. I would question why in church we were told to love our family yet they wouldn’t even speak to each other. She was never able to answer that.

I then grew up with similar issues that I took into adulthood. I didn’t trust anyone and therefore I didn’t develop close relationships with people. If I was hurt, I too would also shut people out of my life and not deal with the issue. I got by and developed a successful career and just accepted that this was how life was to be. That was until I started to have sessions at the Universal Medicine clinic. These sessions supported me to become aware of how I was carrying all my undealt with emotions in everything I did and in all of my interactions. I started to feel how much I was shutting people out and how underneath that I actually did want to connect with people and have loving and supportive relationships. Despite growing up with a strong religious background I had never experienced loving and supportive relationships until this point in my life. The sessions at the Universal Medicine clinic supported me to address issues I had been avoiding and carrying my whole life. I had grown up believing that there was something wrong with me because my mum wasn’t able to love me so I developed many issues from this. With the support of the Universal Medicine practitioners I got to see that there wasn’t anything wrong with me. But I now needed to take responsibility for the choices I had made and I was now in a position to choose what the quality of my life and relationships would be. I now have an amazing life and very deep and loving relationships. I am now able to love my parents and family members in a way that they were never able to show me. At times they find this challenging as they are still holding issues that prevent them from really connecting with others and allowing loving relationships.

My parents are now more heavily involved in the church and are still considered very respected members of the community. They often go on overseas missionary trips to help out in underprivileged countries. However they still continue to struggle in their personal relationships and marriage. These missionary trips to help others can be used to mask their own issues for a while but when they return the ‘good’ feeling from helping others doesn’t last and they are quickly planning their next trip to avoid feeling their own pain and hurt that they carry. In the moments when my mum does stop, she will ask what I am doing differently and she expresses that she does want contact with her family. She has shared that she doesn’t want to face how she has been with them so for now she continues to use other ways to not deal with this. I do ponder on what is the real quality of what she is doing in these other countries, if she is not able to love herself and those she lives with, then how can love be expressed in what she does? This is not a judgment on her, I love her but I also see the pain she carries daily and how her religious faith has allowed this to stay as long as she is seen to be doing good.

204 thoughts on “The pain in ‘doing good’

  1. “I love her but I also see the pain she carries daily and how her religious faith has allowed this to stay as long as she is seen to be doing good.” What makes ‘doing good’ so evil is that superficially it appears so beneficial and loving when, in fact, it suppresses self-love – the foundation upon which true love is built. How can you love another if you have not first developed love for one self?

  2. We are taught from young to be good, and also to do good, a good deed for another and as we often get rewarded for doing good we learn quite quickly that this is what is expected of us, yet at what cost to ourselves and to the rest of humanity.

  3. ‘Doing good’ is truly painful and brings recognition if we are not loving ourselves. Most of us have not been taught to love ourselves first and fall (at least I did) for recognition at a young age and we start to measure, override what we feel inside. The truth is it takes us away from who we truly are. And we avoid to accept and live the power of love that, we definitely all know, is in our body.

  4. For a long time I thought I could get away with just being good – not bothering to go deep into my heart and be open. How wrong was I. You can be and do so good and life would still remain very thirsty.

  5. Now that I have an understanding around the harm ‘doing good’ does to both myself and those I’m perceived to be doing good for, I’m far more aware of when I go into the drive of wanting to be seen doing the right thing for the sake of recognition. It’s awful. It’s not true and it serves no purpose.

  6. You raise some very important points Anonymous, one of those being that we do not ever leave unresolved hurts from the past behind, and not only that, they are present in the quality of interaction we have with every other person, until such time as they are dealt with and let go. Questioning what it is we bring to another in the attempts to ‘help’ is very valid in light of this… and something that is currently ignored in the helping professions and charitable arenas.

  7. Why is there such a need for us to fall into the doing good, which can also confirm another’s lack of responsibility, would it not be more productive if we learn to connect to ourselves and feel into the truth of something first.

  8. This is a great point you share here as you highlight the illusion of ‘doing good’ and how it gives you a false sense of feeling good, a sense that is not ever true and long lasting. Our greatest fulfilment is found in letting go of our hurts and living in truth in connection to who we are within. As then whatever we do is through a quality of true self-love that never imposes on another or needs to be sought after, as it is already lived and shared as such.

  9. This got me thinking about my younger years attending church and all of the associated church activities. It’s interesting to consider that in being ‘good’ was how we repented for any of our sins and if we weren’t ‘good’ then we were most likely heading for the ‘pits of hell’. It’s a great tactic to control people really, but then at the same time there is making a choice of being controlled by the beliefs and rules of the church.

  10. I am not surprised that you grew up feeling very confused. Listening to sermons preached by someone who doesn’t live what they talk is a formula for confusing all who listen. This is also a great example of how one person not dealing with their hurts causes harm to ripple out to all they interact with, who consequently in turn have their hurts that they don’t deal with and so they cause harm to all they also interact with and so it goes on generation after generation and spreading the harm far and wide.

  11. Dealing with our emotional and other issues (i.e. our “stuff”) is so essential and not just for ourselves but for everyone we come into contact with. I have met many people who use religion in a way that covers over issues, but any kind of band-aid means the issues unfortunately continue to fester and impact our quality of life – no matter how pious or “good” we may be. Getting free of our issues and returning to the essence of love we all innately are within is ironically the way back to God. Religion is that inner connection.

  12. “Doing Good” we have been told is a way to our own salvation, but as we so often find out in our own lives this isn’t the case at all. Unless we are coming from a true connection to our heart we are draining ourselves physically and not helping at all. It just looks good on the surface as you mentioned.

  13. I see the burying we all do with issues we are not ready to address. This burying allows things to fester and then colours the way we look at situations. Being in activity all the time makes the tension of not dealing with the past so much easier but, from experience, the body breaks down. It is not built to live in multiple moments which is what we are doing when we leave multiple hurts undealt with. Burying issues never solves them.

  14. Our body is often the marker for honesty about things we have buried, issues we are avoiding. I have found that pain and difficulty are some of the most humbling experiences and bring a level of honesty that we don’t seem to want to connect to at other times. Escaping and not stopping to feel are just as much of a coping mechanism as alcohol and drugs, but everyone will come to this when they are ready and, in my experience, not before.

  15. All my life I had felt that there was something wrong in the doing good that I saw around me but I could not put my finger on what. I just knew I didn’t want to enjoin it myself. Then I heard Serge Benhayon’s teachings and amongst all the beautiful wisdom was the fact that the greatest evil is to be found in good. Suddenly I realised what I had always had such strong reservations about the do gooding. There are a couple of audios that explain this on this awesome Unimedpedia page http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia/word-index/unimedpedia-evil.html

  16. To hide the fact we are not living the quality of love that we know we can we focus on doing good in the vain attempt to compensate for the lack and the emptiness that we feel – completely closed off to the fact that the love we crave and want so much actually initiates from within if only we connect to it.

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