Lessons and correlations


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I don’t like to ask anyone for help. I’d rather starve, suffer or die than ask anyone for help. At times, I had to and it killed me more having to ask. Being helpless, feeling helpless and needy aren’t comfortable for me.

Some call it ego, a weakness, the inability to give in and depend on others. As usual I gave it thought and for every perceived weakness I wish to abate. I read the books, listened to all the advise and conceded that I should learn to ask for help. We all need people sometimes, don’t we? Even though I would only accept help if blind, deaf or so sick that I had to to survive. There’s something humbling about raising kids alone. Because if them I had to seek help from people. I’d be quite particular as well, often asking from those who purport they care. As in my world, caring is giving, being there, standing by me, filling in, protecting and providing. I didn’t like it not one bit even from those who said they care. There’s something about needing others, “c’est un fardeau, un joug au dos”. I find I must in turn repay the deed, make good someday. After all, love is reciprocity which in itself is a debt, an “I owe you” even though we try to convince ourselves it’s not. We must return in kind. C’est la loi de la bienfaisance.

Storm prep day, I’m busy securing the premises. I have an impact proof garage door that must be disengaged first before activating the secured system for 100+mph winds. I don’t have the manual. Browsing google and YouTube did not yield much info but I must protect my hearts, my babies. Do you know how heavy an impact double garage doors are!!! I sweated it out fir an hour, finally disengaging to manual. Planner that I am I needed to verify I could renegade the monitor for after the storms. I spent another hour to no avail. It was sticky. I was dirty, sweaty, tired. The office was closed for storm prep. I couldn’t reach anyone. Finally I gave up, spending hours thinking how much it would cost me to bring someone in to fix something that I disengaged. I was upset at myself and depressed.
I get on FB and here’s this angel posting how she and her husband were open to helping anyone in need, and not to worry to reach out to them.

That was my chance! I will not be weak and not ask for help like in the past. So, I respond that I was needing help with my door, not before the storm but afterwards and hoping they will remember and put me on their waiting list. I waited for a response, proud that I was not being prideful, seeking help, showing vulnerability. She replies: “Oh! That sounds complicated!!”

I died.

Imagine someone who never asks for help reading such a response!!! I went to bed and in my sleep I was thinking about the garage door, I wake up bright and early in the storm, stood on my small ladder, lifted that heavy door and latched to every hook I could see until I heard a click. I knew I fixed it. I pushed the motor and it worked!!!

Lessons:
Don’t ask for help unless your child’s life depends on it.
Never expect people to keep their word.
People meet you at their level, hardly where you’re at.
Someone may have a good heart, a willingness to help, but their capacity may be lacking.
Be specific about what you can help people with.
Try to help even if it is by finding someone who can do what you can’t.
Don’t answer in a way that would hurt their feelings, for you never know how much it took for them to ask you.
I can do many things if I do not give up. Persevere.

May Irma make us stronger! Shalom!

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Shout out to all the men that stand!


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Difficult times define character.

I am a person stuck in details. The minutiae excite me. They do particularly when they are consistent. However, there are times, extraordinary instances, absent of consistency when details give me a feeling of warmth as well.

In these moments, I behold the men who saw not themselves, the slights of time but come through for the greater good. By coming through I speak about doing, not reaching. To these men, men weakened by pain caused by divorce, baby mama drama, losses that made them run away I will say I applaud you for showing up. It is never too late to DO what is right.

For doing, in doing, I want you to know, I see you. Some of us see you and thank you.

To the brother who left his job in a snow storm while going through a nasty divorce to go to the woman’s home to shovel the snow before the children got home with their mom. I see you!

To the brother whose baby mama refuses to let him see his kids despite having shared custody, yet sent his friends to board up her house and bring food for them during the hurricane, I see you.

To the brother who was so hurt his wife left him and took the house, the children and the money they had in the bank to be with his best friend, who stopped all contact thereafter yet manages to call before the hurricane to make sure the children need of nothing, to hear their little voices and reassure them he loves them. It’s a first step, keep it up. I see you. Keep trying!

To the brother who is not working but came to board up windows, install shutters because his kids live there although he can’t afford to pay his back child support. I see you.

To the brother who got the flashlight, rain coats, life vest, batteries, charcoal, a generator and dropped them off so his children will be without a thing during the storm. I see you.

To the man who loves you so much he had a generator delivered to your home so you’ll be okay in the storm, and thereafter, although he is not with you. I see you.

I acknowledge these men, sometimes at fault, mostly misunderstood who are growing into wisdom, learning what caring and love mean.

Love is putting the other before our pain.

There’s no greater love than loving your children. Protecting and providing are a part of love. You can’t use words like love and these two are missing in the equation. You don’t have to be rich to provide or physically strong to protect. Most of all, don’t do these for others, for ego or compliment. Do them because of love, because you love.

Even when your children have been trained not to love you, have heard disparaging things about you, when they grow up, they’ll start to understand all the ways you did show up. And the men who love and protect the one they love, not a child, but the one who has your heart even when you’re not together, when you show up in ways that provide and care, it means a lot.

It is men like you who lessen the mistrust I’ve developed regarding men. It’s men like you who have me believing that not all men are bad. Your actions matter. You matter to us, those you may not see or notice. Thank you, thank you! These things make you a good loving man.

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