Finding a Higher Purpose…and Setting Boundaries
After my mother and brother died, a friend from work urged me to see a therapist. I dithered a lot, but finally made an appointment with a very nice lady, who told me what I really already knew.
“You need to find a higher purpose.”
At this point, I was helping my former daytime caregiver, who was having some health problems. And then, I needed to have an arthroscopic procedure done on my knee. I really, really wanted to be out of the house and spending time with family. I finally was able to spend some time visiting with my brother and then with my sister.
Then as my friend from church pulled me into more activities, I became involved in welfare, fellowshipping and teaching in my church. It’s been interesting. It’s great to be able to help others. It can also be very frustrating. Some people just need a little extra help here and there. And they will pay it back by helping others when they can. Some people just need a friendly listening ear now and then. Sometimes I can provide that and sometimes I can also hook them up with others who will check on them and provide a listening ear. It’s very gratifying to be able to help build a caring community.
It can sometimes be a challenge to determine what is a true need that people cannot meet themselves and what things they are capable of doing for themselves. I find it’s hard to try to encourage people to be self-sufficient and to get along with others. It’s an ongoing process.
I want to help where I am really making a difference, really give someone a hand up. But I really get perturbed when dealing with people who expect everything done for them. Sometime it’s really difficult to bring them along understand what is appropriate levels or assistance. (No, I can’t provide an apartment for you!)
I have a hard time saying no to people and telling them certain things are not appropriate behavior. I want to help people, but I hate being taken advantage of.
Time was, I could talk these things over with Mom. I am so very thankful that, despite all of her physical problems, her mind remained clear.
I was so thankful for all that my oldest brother did to help me and to help Mom. And I am thankful that, even with mental confusion after his stroke, his kind spirit was still there.
For years, as a young adult faced with ethical dilemmas, I would ask myself “What would Dad do?”
I now miss being able to discuss the thorny situations that bother me with Mom and with Wes, the “big brother.” I am grateful, though, that I can draw upon their lifetime examples for real life guidance now.