Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Anyone have a zippo? A flint?? Come on - even two sticks I can rub together??!

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." ~Albert Schweitzer

I'm all about self-exploration.

(get your mind out of the gutter.... I didn't mean it that way....)

When you spend as much time living in your own head as I do, it becomes a pretty common way to pass the time. Self-assessment. Self-evaluation. Self-exploration.

(but only when I have a few moments to myself...)

((okay, that time I meant it that way))

I've come to understand something about myself which, while not a huge earth shattering revelation, is something that sincerely holds true and explains a lot about me.

I am a hot mess, people.

Wait, no, that wasn't the revelation.

(although, quite true)

I am a care-giver.... a nurturer.... a source of comfort.... for many people. I realize that sort of flies in the face of my snarky don't-mess-with-me-lest-my-claws-to-come-out attitude, but it is, in fact, the truth. It's in my nature to care for people and offer them care. Despite other impressions to the contrary, I am one of the nicest, kindest, people I know.


No, seriously.

(oh stop rolling your eyes!!)

((fine, I can also be one of the most evil, manipulative, and destructive people I know - so don't cross me))

But with great power comes great responsibility and all, right? So I choose to use that power for good. I genuinely do care for people. And all that caring? is way draining on my own personal reserves. Reserves of strength and light and resiliency. I give it all away.... because I have to. It may sound corny, but it's what I believe I was built to do. Be the support, the strength, the comfort, the light, the what-ever-you-need-let-me-try-to-ease-your-burden-person.

(and it's exhausting)

The great cosmic irony here is that I don't know how to let other people be a source of comfort for me. And that's the great revelation. I suck at being cared for. In fact, I rather don't like it, because I am super resistant to letting people in. Not because there's something wrong with them or there's something wrong with me or I'm damaged goods or something.

(although I suspect that there is and I am)

((just sayin))

But I just don't know how to. On one hand? I am an open book. Sharing and over-sharing every little bit of me that I feel compelled to put on display. Including everything in this blog, the things which have yet to make it past the editing stage, and the things that have yet to be written. Things that need to be said. Things that need to be shared. Even if it's just sharing to the no one and/or everyone who does and/or does not read this. I just need it out there.

Because really? As a counselor, that's what I ask others to do. I ask them to share. I ask them to open their wounds to me so that I can help heal them. I ask for their dirty laundry so I can help get the stains out. I ask them to do any number of things which would make a good counseling analogy - though I lack any more at the moment.

And I take what they give me. I try to offer comfort in return. That's really all there is to what I do. Figure out what people need. Try to help them get it. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Every once in awhile though, I will meet someone who, unbeknownst to me, bypasses all my layers of inner armor and gets right to the heart of where that comfort-giver dwells.... and gives me comfort. They re-light my inner fire and replenish my spirit. I am stronger and better for having them in my life. Trouble is - I really don't know how or why they were able to bypass that armor. And usually they don't either. And sometimes, they don't really want the responsibility of being my fire-bearer. Because they are not the caregiver. Or the nurturer. Or the comforter.

They are just them.

And I am just me.

And something about them sparks off of something about me.... and, for a moment, that inner fire is rekindled.

But then they leave....

(and they always do)

....because they are rubbed raw by my need to feel that spark.

And this ability? To somehow cut through all my crap and feed some sort of primal need that I don't even know how to access?


And rare.

That's not to say that the love of my friends and family isn't brilliant and beautiful - because it is. And I value it greatly.

But it doesn't comfort me.... it doesn't nurture me.... it doesn't rekindle my fire.

And that's not their fault.

Something is clearly wrong with my ignitor switch.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about any of that...

    And this post actually makes me want to post something of a thirty page response, but I don't think I have the wherewithal to pull it together at the moment.