In A Dozen Invisible Pieces, I wrote about how blessed I have been, during some of the darkest moments of my motherhood journey, to have been surrounded by friends, family and a church community when I most needed it. What I didn’t write about at the time, is the fact that with some people, in some circumstances, that overabundant support is more likely to come in the wake of extraordinary difficulties, but may be significantly, if not completely, lacking in times of emotional abundance.
As a side step, I freely admit that I have not always done a superb job in the past of “letting people in” on my struggles…having carefully filtered that which I was willing to freely confess to only a small circle of people–people who I felt were most likely to offer the understanding and support I needed in my challenges with career life, motherhood, life in general. Until the release of my book, that is. And so, I certainly cannot fault those people who haven’t stepped up to the supportive plate, when they simply didn’t know what was going on.
But the funny–really sad– thing is: in my own little cross sectional experience of emotional abundance; in a time when things are really going right for me, during a phase of my life when I finally feel like I’m on the right path–the path I was meant to head down–I’m realizing that some folks are just more comfortable supporting others in times of woe as opposed to times of success. There is no doubt in my mind, that a person REALLY comes to know who their friends and family are, during their own extraordinary life circumstances–both good, and bad.
So what is the deal with people who can’t stand to celebrate a friend or family member’s accomplishments in the same way they held a hand, cooked a meal, or made a series of phone calls, when that loved one was down in the dumps? Does is come down to jealousy? Confusion? A sense of being left behind? Distanced? Is it a matter of just not being GROWN UP?
Contemplating these questions, I think back to the times I have observed others coming into their own abundance–how well did I support, and celebrate with and for them? Did I allow my own sense of jealousy to get in the way of being totally, and utterly proud?
Regardless of the answer, I sure know which tack I’ll take in the future.
But there have been some friends and family–Andrew in particular–who have always been there to rally around me, in good times and in bad. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
The advice to “count your blessings” has been apart of our national motto across the ages. I know I, for one, continue to count mine.