Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Helper's Dilemma

In church a few weeks ago the pastor said that each person has their own theme.  It was a small part of the sermon that day, but it is still something that has run through my mind here and there.  What is my theme?  I think today that I figured it out.  I am a helper.  If you know me, or even if you are a strict follower of my blog this seems so obvious.

You see, ever since I can remember I have been drawn to helping people.  I always loved volunteering as a child.  I loved going to nursing homes and singing, even though I was no Jennifer Hudson lol.  I even was the president of Key Club in high school, until I moved to Maryland.  And the same applied throughout college, law school, and today.  There is no wonder that my career choice has always been encompassed by the need to help/fix others.

Well the same is true with my friends.  I am a zealous advocate of my friends I have realized, maybe to a fault.  I want so bad for my friends to be happy that many time avenge their hurts more than they would themselves.  It is kind of like I am sponge for other people's pain.  And while I am glad that I can deeply empathize with others, I end up internalizing some of the emotions as well.

It all kind of hit me when I was talking with one of my very close  friends.  I was telling her, yet again, how I wanted to have a discussion with one of the guys she dated because I felt like he was behaving inappropriately.  She told me I needed to let it go because she wasn't expecting anything from him and didn't care.  For a split second a though flashed in my head that I actually care more about her situation than she did.  And this is not the first time.

While I am excelling at being a good friend, a good daughter, a good community helper, I am hurting in the process too.  The bad things about sponges is there is only only so much that a sponge can absorb before it is rendered useless.  I fear that I come dangerous close to my breaking point.

Sometimes I even feel resentful to the world.  I feel alone.  I feel tired.  I wonder to myself at times who is there for me when I need help?  Will someone be there to beat up my ex and kick him in the baby maker even when I didn't ask for it?  I help not for the recognition, but because I truly enjoy doing it.  However, I need replenishment for my soul too.

And I don't want to say for that my friends aren't down.  That's not what I mean at all.  I just feel like for those people that care more for others than they do themselves that it is a lonely place filled with self-doubt and even fear.  I guess I need to figure out how to balance it all.

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