Saturday, October 30, 2010

Why do we make it about us?

I have a dear friend who is in a bit of a tough spot and I happened to mention to a mutual friend (without letting them know what was going on) that we needed to keep an eye on this particular friend because she needed a little extra love and support at the moment. The response I got from the mutual friend was definitely full of concern and love but it also contained something else.. it contained an "I". "Why hadn't I noticed?" I could see the pain and guilt wash over my friends face and settle as they realised that they hadn't noticed. I could see the sense of failure setting in.. That sense of my friend needed me and I wasn't there. I knew the feeling well because I had been noticing that something was wrong with our friend but she wasn't ready to talk and I had felt that pang of not being able to do anything.

It wasn't until I got home that something stirred inside me and the words "IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU" screamed through my body. I realised in that moment it wasn't about me or my guilt or my friend and their guilt, it was about our friend who was hurting. It was about loving her through her pain, about being there for her, it wasn't about us at all. It wasn't about whether we had noticed or not noticed, it wasn't about what we had or hadn't done, it wasn't about us finding a solution, it was purely about her and her needs and it was amazing to me that we had made it at least a little about us. It wasn't that we didn't love her or care for her, we did and do but we did also make it about us.. I think that that is extraordinary and it makes me wonder how often do I do this? How often do I make things that aren't about me, about me?? How often do I get in the way?

Clearly it's not the first time I've done this and I don't think it will be the last and I am not the only one who's done this because my friend doing it was what highlighted to me the fact that I had done it but I would like to do it less in the future. I would like to recognise the me in my reaction more quickly, I would like to understand that I am not the solution to my friend's problems and that it doesn't matter when they told me or if they told me.. all that matters is that I love them. That if and when they feel ready to talk I listen to them, to their need and let it be about them.

I pray that this week as we go through our life we take the time to let things be about someone/something other than us. That for a few days we put aside our need to make things about us and just listen to the people in our world, to just love them selflessly xx

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