I think I prefer most people not knowing about my problems, because most people try to fix my problems.
When someone asks how I’m doing, and I share about something that isn’t going well, I’m not asking for advice – I’m just sharing, the same way I would about something that is going well in my life.
I usually can handle my problems rather well on my own.
And when I want and need help, I say clearly that I want and/or need help.
And, sometimes, if someone asks if I want help or guidance, I’ll say that I do…, but I usually am not looking for that, simply because I am sharing about something.
I think that’s part of why my cousin knows most of my most desperate problems… I call her and tell her that I am seeking guidance and help and please, tell me that I am not totally stupid for wanting this in my life, etc… and she does just that.
And, when I am not seeking a solution, and say that I just need to share, she lets me.
If she has something she deems valuable to share back with me, she asks if it’s okay to tell me what came up for her… sometimes the answer is ‘No, not right now,’ and she is okay with that, and she respects that.
And I do the same for her.
Sometimes, we just want to be heard and not fixed… sometimes, it only takes being heard, for us to be able to fix everything ourselves anyway.
Oftentimes, when I share about something that is bothering me, I am just sharing that I am struggling, so the person with me can understand where I am, and meet me where I am… I am not asking for a solution.
Today, someone shared with me about a very painful incident within her life.
She said she probably would cry, and then she did… and her crying didn’t last very long – I gave her the space to express herself, and I didn’t get all sappy and apologetic with her about it, but merely acknowledged and accepted what she was sharing and the pain she was expressing… and I didn’t feel sorry for her, but just accepted her where she was, accepted things as they stood, and met her where she was.
And now, we have a fabulous plan going forward with things, and she not only trusts me but feels extremely comfortable with me… and I think a large part of that is that I didn’t deem her situation as having anything wrong with it that needed fixing… it was just what was so in her life, and I needed to met her there in order to move forward into tomorrow… and I did… and we are doing something together now because I did.
And I’m actually really excited about it. 🙂