Over the past couple of months, facing two family crises that impact the whole relational web of my tribe down in Tennessee, I’ve learned something about myself: I’m not very good at fessing up to my own needs.
Instead I am attentive—sometimes over-attentive—to the needs of others.
Instead of saying, “I need help,” I ask, “How can I help you?”
Instead of saying, “I need someone to talk to,” I ask, “Is there anything you want to talk about?”
Instead of saying, “I don’t want to be alone,” I say, “I am here for you.”
I say these things to my relatives, my husband, and my closest friends—those who know me best and love me most.
This may sound like a virtue, but it isn’t. It’s cowardice. [Read more...]