June 14

Trouble is a part of life, and if
you don't share it, you don't
give the people who love you
enough chance to love you

Dinah Shore


Today's Meditation:

Here's a question that I often ask my students:  How do you feel when someone trusts you enough that they come to you for advice or help when they need it?  They almost always answer that it's a very good feeling.  Then I ask them, Do you really want to deprive your friends of such a positive feeling by not asking them for advice or help when you need it?  After all, if they're our friends, they want to be there for us just as we want to be there for them when they need it.

Many of us have been taught to keep things to ourselves, not to bother other people with our problems.  When I was younger, I thought that this was a positive way to approach problems, for I kept them as my problems, and I didn't make them anyone else's.  Now, though, I see that attitude as a selfish one, one that keeps our friends from knowing us better and from helping us.  A huge part of true friendship lies in our abilities to help each other when we need it, but can that aspect be fulfilled if we selfishly refuse to ask for help?

"You don't give the people who love you enough chance to love you enough."  Wow--what a thought.  Relationships truly are a two-way street, and sometimes it's only through showing our own vulnerability that we allow others to shine, that we allow others to show just how much they truly care, just how great of friends they can be to us.  I knew a couple once in which the husband never, ever showed any vulnerability at all--he thought he had to be a steady, trustworthy rock.  The wife's frustration at never being able to contribute to his life was one of the things that almost led to the end of the marriage.

We all have troubles.  And the troubles that we're going through, someone else has gone through before.  If we share what we're experiencing, then we allow others to help us out, to give advice, to be the friends they want to be and know they can be--if we give them the opportunity.

Questions to consider:

From where do we get the idea that it's somehow wrong to "burden" other people with our troubles? 

How might you go about allowing your friends to help you to deal with your problems (not necessarily "solving" them)?

What kind of feeling do you get when you're able to help a friend?  Are you robbing your friends of that nice feeling when you don't allow them to help you?

For further thought:

I am treating you as my friend, asking you
to share my present minuses in the hope
I can ask you to share my future pluses.

Katherine Mansfield


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