When You Can’t Give

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.” Albert Schweitzer

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer

“I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.” Albert Schweitzer

Have you ever been at the mercy of your emotional self? You want to help, give, be attentive to and support others but the stamina is low or non-existent. Of course so many of us hide behind walls and refuse to share our deepest hurts and frustrations. This keeps others at bay and also any support. If someone doesn’t know how much we are hurting, then they can’t begin to understand or help us.

There may be all kinds of happenings and crises in other people’s lives. Without a doubt, we might be left incapacitated for the moment. As much as we feel regret at our inability to help someone, we must remember that at that moment, it is best to nurture ourselves. Why this becomes so difficult for us to do is strange. Our need to be caring and compassionate makes us overlook our own needs. The problem is, if we stop caring for ourselves, we can become useless, in coming to the aid of other people.

It is paramount that we watch for stress and worry, within our lives. This can overpower us and cause fear of all kinds. Many times fear and worry lead to frustration and anger, which serves no one. As much as we like to feel needed, and as much as we want to aid another person, we owe attention to our own minds, bodies and spirits. The guilt we feel is unwarranted. Ignore the emotional guilt, and know that it is vital for us to take a much needed break.

It might be unfortunate if our need for relaxation comes at a time when others need us. If we venture forth to help, even though we are at a low point ourselves, the results could be disastrous. We can’t always plan when the desire for solitude permeates our being. Issues that arise in other people’s lives, are also not planned or expected.

Many times we have those people who judge us for the extent of our vacation time away from issues, or they assess our actual problems as not so bad. I equate this to nonsense. After all, what one person perceives as a little problem, another may consider it a crises. We are different and can’t all fit into the same mold. The extent of the feelings of pain, or burdens beyond our ability to face, are intrinsic to each of us.

A screaming child to one adult may be just extra patience to rock and comfort the child. To another adult it may be reaching the above and beyond boiling point. If that mom or dad requires some aid and comfort, it is certainly recommended. Our breaking points change on any given day. If we are dealing with the same issue day after day, our tolerance is likely going to deteriorate. We don’t have to justify our feelings to those who really don’t understand. When anyone has not walked in our shoes, how do we believe they have the right to judge us. Of course they don’t.

Perhaps it may become necessary for us to turn a deaf ear, and close our eyes to adults who offer no mercy, only criticism. Has anyone ever listened to or observed a person in agony over their inability to deal with an occurrence in their lives? Maybe we have experienced the same happening, and perhaps we sailed through it. On the other hand, maybe they are sailing through it but we did not. So many issues we have that are similar, result in various performances and endings.

I sympathize with the people who look for attention, mercy and empathy, only to receive rebuffs. I appreciate that there are likely those who have experienced worse. That never makes a poor situation feel any better for the people involved. Pain is pain and hurts are hurts. We should never measure the quality of hurtfulness, for accuracy. A little trust and understanding goes a long way.

For those who suffer in silence, there is a greater need for attention and acceptance. They almost believe in their super hero powers, until they crash and fall down hard. They are likely the ones we most totally ignore. They appear calm and together on the outside, yet may be suffering on the inside. Viewing someone who is able to take it on the chin, makes us overlook their need for attention. It necessitates our being mindful of the strong, who won’t ask for aid.

I suppose if we simply were mindful of others, and their moods, there would likely be far less fighting, and more comfort for everyone. Our need for kindness would be satisfied, without sensing a loss of control or pride. Allowing egos to defeat us is sad. We are humans and therefore thinking and feeling, and loving beings. We all need love and care. Even the cranky, lonely, and miserable people enjoy love and empathy.

Perhaps if we could muster some sympathy for those who need it, we might build up their confidence, pride and energy a lot faster, than if they receive no help. I like to treat myself and accept what comes my way in a controlled manner. What I have found is crushing defeat. By the time I accept some help, I am low, without ego or confidence, and incapacitated to the point of leaving some jobs unfinished. I now accept another person’s advice and support. I reconcile the fact that I can be wrong and another may be correct. I accept my pain and the pain I discover in others, without judgement. I comprehend that we all have dilemma’s to deal with, but we have each other to help us to achieve, the hopeful, confident attitude and environment, we all like to enjoy.

“I have learned to be a friend to myself Great improvement this indeed Such a one can never be said to be alone for know that he who is a friend to himself is a friend to all mankind” Seneca

“Fire tests gold, suffering tests brave men.” Seneca

“that you would not anticipate misery since the evils you dread as coming upon you may perhaps never reach you at least they are not yet come Thus some things torture us more than they ought, some before they ought and some which ought never to torture us at all. We heighten our pain either by presupposing a cause or anticipation” Seneca

“Everyone prefers belief to the exercise of judgement.” Seneca

Originally published at pamreynolds.me on June 8, 2015.

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