Friday, December 17, 2010

Rules for the Road

Someone I care a lot about is having a really hard day today. I am wishing I could somehow lift this person's burden or turn back time or make everything happen differently. I wish I could be there in person to lend assistance, provide physical comfort, or do something to erase the problem entirely. I even wish with all my heart that I could take the discomfort, disappointment, and frustration upon myself, using my numerous years of sometimes difficult life experience to absorb and move through it.

Of course, I can't make any of these things happen. My wishes will not come true...nor should they. We are, all of us, entitled to the full adventure that is life, every glorious and excruciating part of it. To deprive a fellow traveller of even one step of his or her journey––whether summit, sinkhole, or detour––would be to deprive that individual of the growth and grief, laughter and learning that make the trip so exquisitely awful, wonderful, and valuable. In life's journey, the rules for the road are all about respect, not rescue. Dignity, not deliverance. Supporting, not supplanting.

In those times when we feel that the Lord is taking a hands-off approach in His dealings with us, those times when we feel hurt or resentful or abandoned and find ourselves asking if He even notices we are down here doing our best to survive, maybe we should remind ourselves of these "rules for the road" that are ringing so true for me today. We might take a deep, cleansing breath and consider the explanation that God is, in His wisdom, stepping back with love and respect––trusting us and trusting in us and our ability to make the most of the full life experience He offers.

As Michelangelo once said, "I am still learning," and today I am learning to respect another's journey by letting go of my providentially unfulfilled wish/overwhelming desire to make the way easier than it needs to be. We all know that when a baby chick is assisted in breaking out of the shell, it emerges too weak to thrive.

Apparently, the Lord knows that, too. Me? I'm still working on it.


PS. Note to self: This is a heavy pecking day for this person you love so much. Keep your big beak out of it!


GOOD NEWS AFTER THE FACT: My loved one who had such a struggle today has resolved everything in the best way possible. And because I managed to stay out of it, he gets to savor the rather empowering knowledge that the only person he has to thank is himself. And the guy upstairs, of course. =)

Don't you love a happy ending? I sure do!


karen said...

I know very well what you're going through. I'm the worst at trying to make things easier when I should just take a breath and step back. So I'm going to affirm: you're doing the right thing. You are loving more wisely. But I understand the ambivalence - so hard to watch suffering and not try to "kiss the booboo" all better. I'm thinking about you and yours today.

yaya said...

The person suffering today must know of your love and concern and most times that is what is really needed. I love your post today because it sure hits home for me also. Thanks and prayers to the ones you love.

Grandma Honey said...

That is the very hardest...watching a loved one hurt, especially one we gave birth to. :(

Dixie Mom said...

I try to imagine how the Savior felt...alone on the cross with no one to take it from him.
We all have our own crosses to bear don't we. Somedays are just downright harder then others. But one thing I have learned in my short life is that it will get better.
But I hate seeing other's suffer. I think that has been the hardest thing for me since we moved. As bad as I think I have it, I know other's who are so much worse off and there isn't a darn thing I can do for them.
I guess they are bearing their own crosses too.
But I can pray that at least their burden can be lighter....mine too.

Stef said...

That is so true. I am going through a little of that myself with Hubs. He is struggling with something that comes so easily to me. I wish I could just do it for him. Thanks for the reminder.

Darlene said...

Happy endings are wonderful, aren't they? I had a pretty happy ending myself tonight. I can really feel what you went through. Tough though, when we feel helpless when someone is having their own problems and we can't do anything about it. Well, all is well that ends well, and I don't know about you, but I am exhausted, but mighty happy that I don't have to be alone in this house tonight. My dear husband managed to come home from the emergency room without having to be admitted. I am so grateful he was able to be cardio converted. And now,I am ready to go to bed.

My name is PJ. said...

Summit, sinkhole or detour....SPLENDID!!!!

Every time I read one of your pieces...which I equate to what my mom used to call one of her "5 minutes"...I learn something. I feel the need for a notebook to take down the parts that shout my name the loudest.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I'm glad I came to visit after the "update" and happy your friend got a good resolution! I really think it's harder to watch people we love go through difficult things than it is to go through them ourselves..

Merry Christmas!



Donna said...

Sue, I wish I knew you!!!! You are so very philosophical and wise! You are so like my mother's personality and with her gone I sometimes need that compass to talk to. I would want to help and too often "put my beek right into the middle" of it all!! Whomever you care about surely knows they have that in you, a wonderful shoulder to lean on whenever they need to. I'm sure you are a blessing to them,...just because you are "there". Good Luck!!

Lisa Loo said...

So glad it resolved with them stronger on the other side--and so quickly. A "heavy pecking day" is no fun on either side...

BECKY said...

Hi Sue. What an awesome post this is! I'm SO glad I stopped by. I'm sorry I've been "away" so long...but not intentially, and not just your blog! Thanks for the wonderful comments you always leave for me. I truly appreciate them...and I truly appreciate YOU!

Em said...

i've been stewing over this the past few weeks. i feel like brennan will always be my challenge. the irony in it is that most of the challenging things about him were the challenging things about myself as a child. i've often thought about how i would have like to be parented. how it would have best helped me to have been guided. how hard it is as a parent to not step in and show them the easy way b/c it's only easy b/c you've been there and have learned. how i worry over brennan and he's only 2. almost 3 i guess. yet i sit and try to practice when it's right to stand back and when i need to step in. it is so true that parenting is the most difficult thing you will ever do in your life. i marvel at how as an adult i spend my time overcoming my own insecurities to try to help my children overcome their own. when i say children, i mean those i have, and those i feel are still waiting to be here with us. i marvel at how much i have changed in the past 2 years. almost 3. how an insecure new mother who didn't know herself has changed into something more. something better. yet still i feel lacking. still i have more to learn. i think it's kind of like a house though. you can't move in and have everything you need all at once. you have to budget it out over time. this now, that later. if it came all at once, it wouldn't be as good. mothering is the same. this piece now, that piece later. how grateful i am to have a father in heaven that knows when i need each piece. how scary it is to rely on that trust. trying to work through my own issues, having a desire to prevent them in my own child. reminding myself that projecting my life onto my children is not only inaccurate, but impossible b/c they are not me. but how to use my own experiences to help them thrive. and help them rebuild when they fall. thank you for a beautiful post and for getting my thinking. i can tell it's late!!! the philisophical side of me is coming out. i hope it made sense to you too:)

Amy said...

Such a difficult lesson to learn. I struggle with that as well, thus spoiling my children sometimes. I am so glad things turned out well for your loved one! Such joy and satisfaction he must feel. And I am so proud of you for being able to actually stay out. That must have been incredibly hard. I know it would have been for me.

Jess said...

Just what I needed Sue- lately I've been the unhatched chick, resenting sometimes that I have to go it on my own. Thanks for reminding me why.

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