H E L P!

Not only a fabulous Beatles song, HELP ! speaks to me tonight. 

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody’s help in anyway.
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured,
Now I find I’ve changed my mind, I’ve opened up the doors.

I think getting older puts new perspective on this.  I reflected on this tonight as I drove home and I encountered a love/hate relationship with this concept.  I recall growing up and being quite good at “going it alone.”  I remember my mother telling me numerous times that as a child, I did not embrace someone helping me in any way.  I took fierce pride in that, I still do.  However, I find that a more lonely place to be now that I am older.

When I hear my mother mention that now, there is less pride and more sadness that takes over in those moments.  I think to myself what it would look like to rest in that dependence on another person…to lean into what others have for each of us.  I have spent years and years “producing” and it is quite difficult to let go of that.  I never wanted anyone to help me.  I take that back, I did and I did not.  I found that it was safer to work it alone, solo mission, that way there was no one left to blame if things did not go as planned.  I had no one to blame but me.  I also had no one else to lean on in times of trouble.  There is a danger when we cut people off from our lives, we stay safe, but we lose. 

In my family systems class I learned that sometimes a “Cut-off” is necessary for individuation and self preservation.  I understand that.  Bowenian theory tells us independence is not simply about “cut-off” 

Yes, people can always pretend to be independent and sometimes these people can exist for years cut off from family relationships. Many people do indeed manage to build alternative families.  Over time these relationships may work but if a when they fall apart; people are often left high and dry for someone, sometimes anyone to relate to

Ya know, I am slinging BS.  I don’t know what I am talking about right now.  I could wax poetic till I am blue in the face, I could sling all the Psycho babble in my MDIV training, I could hide.  The fact is, I call others on their BS, so I’d best be able to do it on my own.  Facing those comments from my mother make me scared, I like being independent then, but there is a part of me that yearns to hear what my mommy would do when I threw my temper tantrums of fierce independence.  I look at my own sons and I pursue them doggedly.  I do not let them push away, I do not let them wander off alone…I mean I do, but I don’t.  I remain steadfast…annoyingly so.

As I come to the end of my seminary journey, I look back on some that have been there through some mighty thick and thin.  No matter what was thrown at them, they remained steadfast beside me.  They know who they are, and I must admit that I did my fair share of pushing and “mothering” to the best of my ability.  Some got in my face, went toe-to-toe with me and others forced their way into the midst of my life no matter how often I tried to shut the door.  I did and I do, often.

It’s easier to function that way, but it is not more pleasant.  It is lonely and it can be highly manipulative.  Yes, I called that out.  Those dogged independent types like myself can be horribly manipulative, not meaning to hurt, but to protect.  In that protection there can be more isolation than what was originally intended, and the only person to blame is self.  I used that position to garner a lowly spot and I have no idea what it gained me.  None.  To what end do I continue to take perverse pleasure in neglecting the kind hands that others would extend? My gut tells me I am not the only one to behave in such a manner….I won’t be the last.

Emotion, being human is not a weakness.  I am learning to embrace the strength in that, it is not easy.  It requires that I know me, inside and out.  It requires that I fight to let others help me, sometimes I have no idea what that looks like—maybe it is a gifting and an understanding that I have to grow into as time continues.  What does that look like?  I know not…maybe today is the first step to admitting that I too, need HELP!



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Hannah
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 22:00:37

    Oh Blessed Sister, I am so pleased to see you as you carry the pregnant possibility of communion with others. Hardly any of us have truly given birth to this, but many labor, and for all its pain I believe that we will be undoubtedly blessed by our new fiercely strong dependence.


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