Saturday December 20, 2014
by Dale and Juanita Ryan
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.
A friend recently said, "The day my mother told me to lie about Dad's abusive behavior is the day I decided once and for all that no one will ever take care of me but me."
Many of us made decisions like this early in life. For one reason or another we reached the conclusion that it was not safe to need others. One of the longest-lasting effects of abuse and neglect is this kind of ruthless independence.
Unfortunately, because we may not have experienced appropriate care, we have not learned how to do a good job of taking care of ourselves. We are harsh with ourselves. And we have huge blind spots. We keep falling into the same ruts and traps.
The toxic individualism that comes from abuse and neglect is an illusion. We are needy. We need others to help us and support us. We cannot live whole, healthy lives in isolation. We need other people. We need their counsel and their honest feedback. Success is more likely when we work interdependently. We need love and acceptance. We need listening ears. We need to be held accountable. We need encouragement and support from other people. And others need all these things from us as well.
It may seem like a risk to allow ourselves to need anything from anyone. But it is a risk worth taking again and again and again. It is appropriate to be cautious and wise about the risks we take in relationships. But risks cannot be avoided. Mutual relationships of love and care are the basis for all real joy in life. They are worth the struggle and hard work.
Lord, you know the fear I experience
when I allow myself to receive good things from other people.
You know how hard it is for me to let myself need people.
And you know I struggle to believe I have anything to give to others.
So interdependence is difficult.
Help me, Lord, to give and to receive.
Give me the courage to risk love.
Copyright 2014 Dale and Juanita Ryan
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