I sometimes feel that one of the most selfless things we can do is drop everything to be there for a friend in need. It is kinda heroic, don’t you think?
Wait! Heroic? Was that a little bit of self-aggrandizing? Yeah, there is also a little bit of the martyr cloak showing as well.
“Never fear, I shall put myself in harm’s way to save you, dear friend! Should I die, remember me for what I have sacrificed for you.”
Of course we see this all the time in movies and it is aggrandized mightily. And so we play this out in all sorts of tiny ways.
But what is the alternative? NOT to help a friend or be there when she needs you?
I’m not comfortable with that either.
I don’t have any answers and I’m not going to explore this thoroughly in one post. I’m just putting it out there because I have seen myself and others close to me faced with the dilemma of taking care of someone else at the expense of our own well-being.
It’s not likely that I will not respond to a friend’s dire call for help, but I am more willing to ask questions before I drop everything. I don’t want to send the message that my love and support is conditional, but maybe I can help in some way that doesn’t put myself in harm’s way (or in a toxic situation or cause me to fail in my own equally important responsibilities elsewhere.)
There are times where I have been in dire need myself and perhaps hesitant to ask others for the help I need. I know the sense of obligation upon hearing the call and the sacrifice required and I don’t want to ask that of someone. I have also been on the receiving end of loving concern but prudent investigation of the issue at hand. It feels honest and respectful of both parties. I aspire to this.
I want to live in a world where my needs for safety, security, and love are equal to my desire to love, protect and secure those I care for.
Does that sound reasonable?