I was walking the other day, thinking about my daughter with whom I had just had a pleasant
phone call. I am so proud of her, I love her loving heart, her pragmatic approach to life, the
generosity she holds for her family, house and home; welcoming to others and being informal so
that all can feel comfortable in her presence. She also doesn’t need me one bit.
That is not surprising as she is a woman in her early forties. She has a husband, three kids, a
career and a community. She has made a good life for herself and her family. And she doesn’t
need me one bit.
She has lyme disease and experiences knee pain on occasion. She eats well to minimize as
much impact as she can. Even during home remodel she kept a good attitude; which for me is
impossible when I am in pain. She gets tired and takes rests (most of the time) when she needs
to. Ok, she can get a bit snippy when she is tired and hungry; she is after all mortal. She doesn’t
need me one bit.
So to the phone call. She has issues with her job which she handles without advice or input.
Each of her kids has age appropriate challenges that she addresses (well) without my help.
Even problems with her friends are reported to me after they have been resolved, without
sharing any uncertainty or questioning that she might have gone through. She doesn’t need me
I realized, when I was walking, that she is a lot like I am. Yes, all the good stuff, too. And I don’t
reach for help, I don’t share when I am going through something- only when it is over. The heart
pain, the physical challenges are managed internally with appropriate resources, but without
sharing with those nearest and dearest. It is almost as if I “don’t need them one bit.” Although I
I don’t know my daughter very well- I know her competencies, but not her pain. I know how
things turn out, but not her process. There is a layer that is hidden behind her “can do” attitude.
Her capability is a carapice over her tender self. That self I never get to see.
Mine is hidden as well. It isn’t as if I don’t feel uncertain, or lost, or sad for no reason. I do. I feel
uncertain and lost and sad for actual reasons as well. And I deny my friends the opportunity to
sit with me as I process the moments. Because THAT IS help. It is the help I have given to
many friends, that let’s me IN to their hearts. It let’s me in to what life dealt them that they are
now struggling with and to which they ultimately find solutions. I am needed.
I am not sure why I cannot let others in. I have been working on it for a while. Hopefully I am
better at it now. But I realized from that awareness after the call with my daughter that there is a
gift to others for receiving help. The healthy help of listening, being a companion on this bumpy
road of life. There is the gift of getting to know that person in a very real way. It is a gift of
yourself to another. I want to be generous in that way