|added Tue November 18 2003 at 11:51 AM
|I've long known that I like being there as a comfort for people. Ever since the first time in memory where I was able to be that shoulder to cry on, I've wanted to be there for people. I know that my presence doesn't always make them feel better, but I can sense the importance of what I'm doing just by being there. And in turn, it makes me feel important.
Along with that, I've had a hard time really allowing others to be there for me. I guess that I've felt that I would drag them down, and for the same reason that helping people builds me up, that would tear me down. So generally, I share just enough of my burden to convince them that it's okay to share their burden, and then I just take from them whatever they can't carry. And their burden is so light for me, because it's not mine to bear. Because I choose to bear it voluntarily, I can shoulder it and take it in stride. The giants are reduced to mere pygmies.
Somehow, I've not been able to work in the reverse. Any time that someone tries to lift my burden, I cling to it in an effort to save them the pain. I find myself quoting "The fox have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." I offer myself as the comfort for any in need, but when I'm in need, I suffer from isolation and loneliness. I can't be my own comfort, because the giants remain huge, and I cannot bear the burden.
And the realization: for the same reason that I want people to turn to me, perhaps others need me to turn to them. Why should I be so greedy by bottling up my pain when that can be the elixir that someone else needs so much? Much as I feel needed and of value when others come to rely on me, might there not be someone who feels the same if I come to them? And now the problem becomes finding that someone.
Come to me, ye heavy laden; let's trade burdens.