Taking Care

Have you ever been in trouble with a friend for not doing enough for them?  I'll give you an extreme example.  I had a roommate in college that was insanely needy.  I happened to live her when my mom died.  A few weeks later she freaked out and started yelling and crying about how I'd changed, and I wasn't there for her anymore.  About how selfish I was being.  Crazy right?  I feel like it was fair to be taking care of me at that point. 

While less extreme I feel as though I've been in similar situations since then.  The friend that is mad that I'm not checking in on them everyday.  But maybe they forgot it's the ten year anniversary of losing mom,  maybe they don't know I reinjured my bad arm and am in constant pain,  maybe they don't know I'm closing on a multi-million dollar project at work this week. And maybe through all of that I've had the worst/weirdest stomach pains of my life. 

And maybe other people around me have babies dying,  and mom's dying, and husband's deployed, and friends threatening suicide, and cancer diagnosis, just to name a few.  Life is hard from time to time. We all have our somethings. I wish we didn't, but we do. 

It's ok to take time for yourself.  I know we are supposed to forget ourselves and go to work.  But sometimes we need to think of ourselves, take time to heal our hearts,  be selfish for a moment. If you don't take care of yourself then there might not be much left to share with others.

If someone isn't "there for you" exactly how you expect them to be and exactly on your time table,  it doesn't mean they don't wish they could be. It doesn't mean they don't love you and aren't giving you everything they are capable of.

We can't expect even our best friends to know how and when to help if we don't tell them.  If I don't know you need help how can I give it?  Even if what you are going through appears on the surface to be something I might be an expert in,  like losing a mom, it doesn't mean I have any idea how to help you.  I have to tell even my best friend "my heart is hurting because of this and I need you to talk it through with me." Or "can you just put your arms around me for a minute?"

We all have our days,  and weeks, and months of rough patches. Let's be gentle with each other.  Tell people when we need help and what flavor of help we need. 

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