Friday, May 16, 2008

Listen and let go

I had a very brief phone call with my soldier a few days ago. He had only one option to call and that option is timed so we could only speak for about 9 minutes before being disconnected. He was trying to get caught up with my life and all but we both felt rushed. We're both long winded so 9 minutes is really only a tease. But at least I was able to hear his voice.

He seemed depressed. I can tell that he's really ready to be over the long Tuesday and move into Wednesday. He even made reference to it in his 'family & friends' monthly email update. If this were a 12 month deployment, he would be past the halfway point and counting down to his homecoming. Instead, he's stuck on Tuesday, like Groundhog Day, over and over and not moving forward.

I also have another male friend that I've known for over 23 years. We usually talk about once a week and when I don't hear from him, I know he's dating someone. Its sort of a running joke. So, I hadn't heard from him in a while and I called last night asking, "Well, what's her name?"

He said there wasn't anyone new. He was fine. Just been busy. I could tell something was wrong and I called him on it. He admitted he's in a slump. He retired early about a year and a half ago. He wants to go back to work now but he 'doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up.' You know, men have to feel like they have a title or a purpose or else they're just not men anymore. I get it.

As women, we're constantly redefining ourselves: daughter, sister, college student, wife, co-worker, manager, mother, ex-wife... you get the idea. We're always evolving into something, aren't we? Men (well most of the men that I know) seem to define themselves by what they do. They've been programmed to be what they do. I remember when the ex was laid off from work for 3 months. He was completely emasculated and depressed. There was nothing I could do to help!

I talked to my friend for a few minutes before hanging up to cook dinner for the kids. About 2 minutes later he called back and said, "I'm bored and I've got to get out of this house."

Bless his heart. I invited him over to have dinner with me and the kids. The kids LOVE him because he'll be silly with them and give them rides on his shoulders. He'll even sit and tell stories to them for hours! They enjoy when he visits and he always leaves more upbeat and happy. I sent him home with a mission to find an organization to do some volunteer work for. He seemed better when he left last night.

Today, I feel so sad. I always do this! I want to be there for my friends but I tend to take on their feelings. I was in tears this morning because I can't make time go any faster for my soldier. I was so sad because I can't help my friend decide what his next step in life is. I still feel for my girlfriend whose marriage is falling apart.

I need to remember that I cannot fix other people's problems. I need to remember to listen and let go. I'm still working on it.

I tend to isolate myself when I'm depressed. My soldier does it. My other old friend does it. My girlfriend is doing it. I should be honored when they feel that they can come out from their retreat and share their feelings with me. Maybe that's why I feel some sort of responsibility to help in some way.

A Course in Miracles Lesson for today:
And as you let yourself be healed, you see all those around you, or who cross your mind, or whom you touch or those who seem to have no contact with you, healed along with you. Perhaps you will not recognize them all, nor realize how great your offering to all the world, when you let healing come to you. But you are never healed alone. And legions upon legions will receive the gift that you receive when you are healed.
Perhaps it is part of my healing that I be a healer as well. All that I can do is heal myself/change my mind and those around me will be healed as well.

I sure hope so.

3 comments:

  1. Man I totally hear you on both accounts! The 9 minute "not enough time, but at least its something time." I got to a point where I just simply said to my butthead,"Adam you are at about 50% information flow." He said that is okay, and he trusted me to make good choiuces for us and that was super comforting.

    As far as taking on your friends problems/ letting go, I think we all work on that. I find I am way more forgiving and caring of my friends mistakes and hardship than I am my own. I am such a better friend to other people then I ever am to myself, which is just so ridiculous, but I just cannot stop. I cannot seem to let myself have that. Good Luck, and thanks for the upbeat comments, I always feel better after I read your comment. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. "I need to remember that I cannot fix other people's problems. I need to remember to listen and let go. I'm still working on it...

    Perhaps it is part of my healing that I be a healer as well. All that I can do is heal myself/change my mind and those around me will be healed as well.

    I sure hope so."

    Me, too -- for you and for me. These words have been on my mind as well. We are definitely twins separated at birth. I'm glad to be in such good company :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Short phone calls suck.

    I try to solve everyone's problems, often at my own expense. Trying to change that. Well except for the kids. :)

    Can you email me your address at armybloggerwife@gmail.com I have some questions for you! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving me some comment love!