Monday, July 9, 2012

Needing to be needed

I'm part of a group trying to build a community in which everyone's needs are met and everyone's gifts are appreciated.

I'm finding it's hard for me to articulate my needs and it's hard for me to let people help me.  Yet I long to be helped.  Often when people attempt to help me, I feel they do more harm than good.  In that case, it's my responsibility to articulate what I need, so that they can help in a way that is actually helpful.   That's what I apparently have not really succeeded at.

But one strong need that I do know that I have is the need to help others.  I am suffocating with the smallness of what I do.

When someone told me her car would be in the shop for a few months, I said let me know if you need any rides.  She said she is okay on the bus for her day-to-day stuff, but that she will want a ride to her car to get stuff out of her trunk.  It was such a relief to find someone who actually wanted something from me.  And it shows how pathetic my life is, that I'm so desperate to be useful.

It's not only about being needed.  What I long for is to be engaged with other people, to be part of something larger than myself.  When I'm having a conversation with someone, and they say something that makes five ideas explode in my head, that's similar but far better than giving someone a ride.

Whether it's exchanging ideas or giving someone a ride, what matters is that instead of being locked inside my own little world, there's something beyond me that I can respond to.

The world is so full of things that need to be fixed.  I am so in need of things to fix.  But there's a gap there.  We can't find each other.  I have gifts to offer the world, but I can't find anywhere where they'll be wanted.

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