To Anyone Who's Felt That I Don't Need Them
"Oh, Brookie, now you've seen me at my worst."
I sat at the edge of my grandma's hospital bed in a mask, robe and gloves. She practically coughed a lung into her little collection jar.
"Well the good news is you've seen me at my worst."
"No, I have not. When?!"
"Temper tantrum at Emporium??"
"Oh, no. No, no. That was beautiful. That's how I knew you were human."
My head was full that day. Thinking of my very worst moments and realizing that few of them actually were. I began to think that maybe what we see as our worst almost never is. If my grandma's hospital visit was a chance for me to be with her and care for her without judgement, if my embarrassing, three year old temper tantrum gave her sight to my humanity, if our weak moments give opportunity for greater love, maybe they're not our weak moments at all. Maybe those are our moments of great strength.
Naturally, this got me thinking about my true worst moments. The times that I had no idea I was hurting the people I cared for. The times that I was hurting myself. I asked God to show me the dark places I didn't know were there. The corners of my mind where I was being deceived. The day passed without any real answers and I went on my way. I reminded myself of the freedom I have to be human and let others see me for who I really am and that was about it. Lesson learned. Almost.
I sat on the couch across from Kala. We were having yet another talk about relationships and where I've gone wrong and really getting to the root of why I'm single. (By the way, this has actually been an incredible process in which I've learned A TON about myself and some pretty intense issues I've got.) For whatever reason, the topic came up of a man's need to be needed, and it took me to one of the dark places - one of the corners that I thought I was strong, but was actually being deceived. It suddenly struck me that I am a professional at making people feel like I don't need them. Especially men, but really just about anyone. I could give a million reasons, but they all come down to self preservation and the wall I've built around my heart that may as well be used for border control.
I can't let myself need someone that I don't have.
I can't rely on someone that isn't there.
I have to take care of everything myself.
What I've seen as one of my greatest strengths, being strong and capable, or the appearance of being strong and capable, was a weakness that was hurting everyone in my life. There have been a thousand times that I needed help and didn't ask for it. There have been a thousand times when someone asked if I needed help and I said no. Not because I didn't want it, but because I didn't want anyone to know that I wanted it. And because I didn't want to grow to need it. But it pushed people away. I lied and caused people to believe that I didn't need them. That they weren't important. That I could do it myself.
So I'm asking forgiveness. From anyone I've made feel unimportant. If I've led you to believe that I don't need you. You know who you are, but I might not. The truth is I'm needy. And trust me, that's not easy to say, but Kala's best advice on changing this character flaw is with a double dose of humility. To practice asking for help. To practice accepting it when it's offered. So that's where I'll be. Just running around asking for help. It's time that I learn to be kind to myself. It's time that I learn to let others receive the blessing of lending a hand. It's time that I let the people I love know that I need them in my life. I can't do it on my own, and I don't want to any more.