I want to be a peacemaker. I want to take conflict resolution classes. I want to help people understand each other. I want to wake people up to their potential. I want to show them how to prevent problems.
My spiritual director says I need to focus inward. She says I need to take care of myself first. I guess this I kind of like when you are on an airplane and the pressure drops. You have to make sure your oxygen mask is on first before you help out the people around you. I guess it is like being a first responder. If you aren’t in shape, how can you rescue someone else?
This makes sense yet it also sounds backwards. There are already too many people who are totally self centered and selfish. There are already too many people who are unaware and unawake. To turn my desire to help others around onto myself seems like regression.
But perhaps the middle way is best. It would mean that I am balanced and grounded. It would mean that I can help others and not be depleted. If you overextend you may fall. Just like if you are rescuing a kitten from a tree, if you reach out too far, go past your balance point, you’ll fall to the ground.
Then, there is the idea that the kitten needs to learn how to get her own dang self down.
If you keep rescuing the kitten, she’ll keep needing to be rescued. Maybe there is something useful there in that thought.
Nobody rescued me. Nobody stood around and cheered me on to start getting healthy in body and soul. Nobody figured out how I could carve out time and money to go to the Y. Perhaps there is something in letting people figure out how to get there on their own.
Maybe there is something to being OK with the idea that they may never get there. Maybe there is something about being OK with where they are right now.
I just hate listening to the yowling of that stuck cat.
I want it to stop climbing up that tree. It has climbed up that same tree for years and it keeps getting stuck. I want it to pick a different tree or figure this one out. Or stay away from trees entirely.
I’ve got my own trees to wrestle with. I want to help, but I don’t want to rescue. But I also don’t want to feel like saying “I told you so”.