Friday, May 24, 2013

Shut-up and just listen......

What a week! I have had constant drama and conflict from one client. One of my sweetest and most favorite and long time clients fell and broke her hip (not on my watch, thank the Lord) and has been brought home into Hospice care, and one family is considering if its time for their mama to enter into Hospice and when is it time to allow her to stay in bed full time? Such big issues weighing on various families. And because I am co-dependent and care so much for my little families...they weigh on me too. Let me tell you, if your elderly relatives ever need in-home care, ask the potential caregiver...."do you have co-dependent tendencies?" If they answer "yes"...and most will, hire them!

So, y'all know I have recently discovered podcasts. I feel like such a grown up listening to a podcast...and not just some trashy novel. It feels like "worthwhile" listening. This week I listened to this TED Talks podcast by Ernesto Sirroli and I want to share it with you.

He has a much larger economic and world view than I do, not because I don't care, but because I can only manage so much and my little hula hoop of a world is about it most days... his message was so universal. I was so touched by the commonalities in my own life and how what he was saying could be applied to so many areas of living.

His philosophy, and he was talking about world aid and entrepreneurship, was when we walk into a culture that is not our own, what would happen if we shut up and listened? What would happen if we just spent some time getting to know the people and finding out what their passion is. He spoke of different countries (Americans...gasp) coming into a foreign culture and acting like they were there to save the day. Invited or not. That they hold the answers to make life better, more viable, more fulfilling, easier...which may be true! But what about respect? Respect and honor for an individuals right to do things differently. To feel passion about things we may not. For another's ideas.

I was thinking of how this could apply in my life. I am not walking into varying cultures....or am I? What about the homeless "culture?" The mentally ill, the addict culture, the culture of childhood, the culture of being elderly ? What if when I entered into their world, I was quiet? What if I didn't enter thinking about all that I can offer, the ways that I can help, what my ideas are, but rather thought of ways to connect with individuals where they are. Not where I think they should be?

I thought of how this message was a picture of how Christ lived His life. How He reached out to His children... He met them where they are/were and they walked together from that point onward...building something together. What was constructed first though was a *relationship.*

I was fascinated by this the similarities to my recovery program, to my spiritual belief system, to my conscience. It gave me a new perspective....humility, being quiet, watching, learning, coming alongside, helping where needed, and *being patient with the process,* allowing things to unfold in time.

It was more confirmation in my life that in my immediate circumstances there are no quick fixes, and in a bigger and broader picture, building relationships and trust takes time. In every my work, in the community, and sometimes even in my family.

I was invited by the rest of my mom's kids, my siblings, to go on a mountain top picnic to scatter the remainder of my mom's ashes. I was glad they included me. They have a different dad than I do, there is a lot of reasons why there is a division between conception was not a good thing. lol It was an embarrassment to those young teenagers. Their unmarried alcoholic mom had gotten herself knocked up at the age of 36....back in the 60's when that sort of thing wasn't accepted. This is a post for another day....but in thinking of walking into cultures and being quiet, I think I can apply that concept here. I can go and be "quiet" my spirit at least. I can let those relationships grow and unfold and heal as they will. I can go with them and not force something that I see as a solution. I can accept that they have their baggage surrounding me. Its not about me personally, but about the circumstances of their childhoods and how I came into their lives.

Gosh, I have a lot to say this morning.....
Gotta run.
Bless us all sweet Jesus.


Tori said...

I like this. I think I talk way too much trying to "help" B or anyone for that matter.

Many times I should be quiet and just listen.

Okay I am going to work on that!

Signe said...

Excellent post, Annette. Respect and listening are such valuable tools. And you're right, his teaching can be applied to just about every interaction. Thank you for sharing this. :)

Syd said...

A really tough decision for the family about the lady who broke her hip. I would opt for her to stay at home with a caregiver. But I really don't like nursing homes. I don't think people do well there.

You are so right about listening. It is what I tell myself all the time. And I think I am a good listener.

Anonymous said...

I am glad you got to be a part of your extended family and scatter your moms ashes.

With my father being ill now I sometimes wake up at night wondering how I will cope with it when the "time comes?"

Such hard decisions.