So, my day started, I did stuff, and now I’m here…standing in my kitchen wondering what the point was. Just moments ago I was proud of myself for filling a coffee cup to the brim without spilling a drop, and then with that thought, I took one step, and what happened next is a great analogy for my life right now.
One minute I think it’s going well and I have it figured out…and the next minute I’m cleaning up a mess, which is often just me. Either blood, sweat or tears.
I guess it all sounds very ‘poor me’, but as I was told this week, I have never wanted to, nor been very good at playing the victim role. Some people I know are so good at it, I’ve been tempted to check their pockets for body chalk. It’s never been my forte, however, I do believe that problems are relative and nobodys are more or less important than anybody elses. What can look like a ‘first world problem’ to one person can be something very real and devastating to another. If you don’t know the full story, if you don’t see what they see, if you have never experienced anything similar, if you are not them…you have no right to judge.
In just the past few weeks I have been privy to snippets from the lives of several friends all going through, or having been through some very tough times. Everything from losing a baby, a child, a job, a marriage, a relationship, or a parent…to just losing hope (and possibly their mind). I often wonder why they talk to me about such things, sometimes just venting, sometimes with a look in their eye that is searching for an answer. I wonder because..well…I have none. No answers for them, or for myself. But I believe it’s simply because of two things that are getting rarer to find these days. I care. I listen.
I may not have answers, but I can listen to the story and offer my perspective, my experience or knowledge…or just tell them how badly it all sucks and that they are not alone. I can offer hope and encouragement, love or understanding, empathy or sympathy. I can even offer direction, to anyone other than myself. I can tell them honestly when they are over-reacting or slipping into drama-queen territory. I can tell them to calm down, and not to be irrational, to think things through before doing something impetuous or purely reactive (something I am actually becoming progressively good at).
What I can’t do is give them advice, because I won’t take it, so why should they? I can’t tell them that the shitty feelings will subside and they will feel better, because I don’t believe it. I can’t tell them that they will get their fairy-tale ending, because nobody can see tomorrow, much less the end of today (otherwise I would still have a full cup of coffee). And I can’t tell them the very thing, that I would love to tell them more than anything in the world…that it will all be okay. I can only tell them that they won’t have to face the next step alone. That someone cares about them enough to listen and worry for them. That whatever the time or place, they can call, talk or knock.
What’s more, of those friends who spoke to me of their troubles, half were men. And that makes me feel even better. Not because men have problems too (although that does warm the cockles sometimes)…but because they were secure enough to talk to someone about them, and my being here gave them someone to do it with. I hate the whole bullshit social theory, that men shouldn’t be emotional and open with their feelings. If anything, it made me think more of them for doing so. To actually admit they were not above feeling, thinking, that they had been hurt, that they were searching for answers…just like anyone else.
I guess all this really means, is that while I am far from sorting out my own shit, at least I am soothed by the thought that I can help others with theirs. Because while we may not all need ‘saving’, it sure doesn’t hurt to let people know that someone out there in the world is thinking of them. And that sometimes hearing someone say “I’d really like to just talk to you about it if that’s okay?” can help you as much as them.
“We All Need Saving” Jon McLaughlin
Come on, come on
You have got to move on
This is not the you i know
This isn’t real
It’s just all you can feel
And that’s the way that feelings go
And whether or not it’s right or wrong you’ll do what you will do
When the cloud in the sky starts to pour
And your life is just a storm you’re braving
Don’t tell yourself you can’t lean on someone else
Cause we all need saving sometimes
Say what you will but the time that we fill
While we’re on the earth
Should not be alone
We were meant to be known
You make me what i’m worth
But i can’t keep you from yourself you’ll do what you will do
I don’t know why it has to be this way and
I don’t know the cure
But please believe someone has felt this before
I hope you all have a ‘person’ Kids. Some of them are worth more than gold.