I have always heard that women listen to a friend talking about their troubles, and has the ability to either empathize, or sympathize. We listen, and hear what the other is saying. We let them pour out their emotions, and we are there for a hug, and words of encouragement.
Men, hear the words, but they tend to want to fix the problems. Their mind searches for solutions. Sometimes, they are so busy designing solutions in their minds, they don’t hear what is being said.
Through blogging, solitude, and therapy, I have been seriously examining my thoughts, and feelings. I have the ability to listen and encourage, but I also want to fix things. I don’t believe I’m unique in this respect, but it is a source of frustration. Frustration, left unresolved will eventually become depression–for me.
On the news, we see stories about devastation in places such as Haiti, the Philippines. Stories about animals lost or abandoned during Hurricane Katrina. Devastation of most of an area due to tornadoes. Frankly, I’ve had to turn off the television because I don’t know what to do. We donate money when we can, but I want to fix the problem. If I could scoop up every little child who is orphaned, every animal which lost its way, every person without a home, and open my home to them, I would.
When my sister was told she was going into kidney failure, I asked about becoming a kidney donor. This was shortly after my lung surgery. Apparently, a person has to be cancer free for at least 5 years before becoming a donor. I couldn’t help anyway, because her heart was failing. Her doctors wouldn’t even consider her as a candidate for any transplantation. She accepted her fate, why couldn’t I?
Why is it, when someone tells me something they are frustrated with, or can’t understand, I feel the intense need to fix the problem? Why aren’t encouraging words, or a hug enough for me?
Why do I feel so paralyzed?
Why can’t I accept that I am only one person, and can only do so much?
I can’t make people change, I can’t rescue everyone from every disaster. I can’t solve everyone’s problems.
The help I have given to friends of my kids has never seemed like enough. At times, we have given them shelter and our love. Why is that not enough for me?
I would like to know where I went wrong teaching my kids to not be so sloppy. I sometimes feel as if my depression gave them a poor example for how a house should be kept clean. I might not have been Mrs. Clean House Pants, but our toilets, sinks, showers, dishes, and clothing weren’t neglected. Why are they such master procrastinators? Did I teach them this?
I know I can’t change the world.
So, why do I feel such intense desire to do so?