I try to hold what the ladybugs showed me as close to my heart as possible.
I breathe, and I bite my tongue, and I breathe again.
And then, I offer suggestions, and counsel, and sometimes nothing when my loved ones need, yearn for someone, anyone to take care of whatever it is ... big, little, insignificant, important.
Sometimes, I have had to do some serious soul searching to decide, to help or save, to say nothing, to watch and wait until I know for sure that he/she/they cannot manage on their own without my help, without my saving.
I had to suspend the fear of over reaching a bit with my niece, but it was only after sincere thought about it.
When I was headed to college, I got very little guidance and very little help. And I survived.
I struggled, stumbled, figured it out. It was challenging. Sometimes, I thought, especially in retrospect, it was an unnecessary struggle to get to the answer.
So, I helped ... I let her stumble some, to struggle a bit. I explained the situation more in depth. I let her try to find the way on her own. But, I also tried to put myself back in those shoes. If someone could have helped me over the rough spots that we could anticipate, would I not have truly appreciated one hurdle I didn't have to clear on my own? So, I did my best not to be over-bearing (not so easy) and offer sound advice.
I wonder, sometimes, if that experience of self sufficiency (and all the other lessons in "take care of yourself") are the reason it is so hard for me to accept help from others.
There is not any bit of this that is easy for me.
My desire to save is so deeply ingrained.
I look around, and it helps me to understand (and appreciate) my pops all the more.
It is hard, especially when he is acting his old man crazy, to see that his desire to save is so deep that it takes all kinds of out of control turns: 82 years old and rushing out to the farm to work all day (for free). Only my dad would do that ... and it feels great to him.
If I derived the same kind of pleasure, it might be worth it to me, too.
But I have equal parts pops and moms; and her side doesn't do anything without getting something in return.
So, yes, little ladybugs, there are plenty of folks who don't need "saving," and there are some who would happily accept some advice or help.
I am working at being more conscious of my reactions and decisions -- determined to learn to be the helper, determined to no longer be the savior. I am hanging up my cape... and this cuts much deeper than all of this (this that has consumed me for the past two years, at least).
But that is another post for another day.
In The Neighborhood
2 hours ago