It hit me one day last week. I’d been feeling lonely that day. My head knew why. “For goodness sake, Donna. Who wouldn’t feel lonely today? All your new friends are out of town…all four of them, and your family is spending the day with friends of their own”, my sweet little parent voice reminded me. Then I realized that not only was I lonely, but resentful and a little angry (am I supposed to admit that?), that my son and his family weren’t more sensitive to my needs. They should _____. Complete this sentence with anything that sounds like “poor me” and you have it!
I made it through that day and a few days later while in therapy, which is what I call walking, it came to me! “You’ve put all your well-being eggs into one basket and you know what happens when you do that.”
Do you know what happens when you do that in your life? Perhaps, you do it in your marriage or partnership with someone you really love, but he/she is always disappointing you when they don’t understand what you want, don’t listen so well that they take away all your pain or have the answer that makes you happy. Aren’t people we love supposed to “care” i.e. “fix what makes us unhappy”? Do we believe that if they really love us they wouldn’t or would _____. That’s what love is, right? Not to burst your bubble or break you eggs, but in fact, that’s not what love is at all. True love is when we take good care of ourselves, discovering what makes us happy and DOING it. And, it’s listening to our partners when they are struggling and believing that they will find the answers they seek. There is no greater gift to someone we love than listening, really listening.
Beware of where your eggs reside. Your partner should have some of them in their basket for sure. That’s what makes it a relationship. And your own basket should, at all times, hold about 80% of your eggs and 20% of theirs. Truly, that’s what a healthy relationship looks like.
As for my own pity party about my son and his “insensitivity”, he and his wife are some of the sweetest, most sensitive, caring people I know. And, in fairness to my sweet self…I have only been here a year and not knowing a soul last April and through a long winter that was too cold to mingle much, I have needed and leaned on them pretty heavily. I’ve had to put my eggs in their basket while I was filling my own, one friend at a time. They’ve been pretty darned gracious in carrying that heavy basket.
Donna Bailey, MS
Life Changing Coaching and Speaking
Donna’s Big Red Chair