As Quitter expressed in her post, last summer was a tough one for her.
She’s had lots of tough years, many tough experiences. Chick be resilient for all that she’s overcome.
But seeing her and many other friends go through tough times (illness, death, divorce, financial trouble, parenting problems) has meant I have played the role of support frequently. And I don’t say that like I was the lone support nor do I say it with any sense of hero syndrome, I just have seen friends go through enough that I have donned the hat titled “one of the supporters” my fair share.
Full disclosure: I’m a fixer and I like action. If someone I love is hurting or struggling, I feel an immediate desire to act, be it to visit, bake muffins, babysit kids or simply visit with a ridiculous movie and a bottle of wine. It actually makes me quite anxious to just sit still in these situations. It’s like my cells start vibrating to signal shits gotts to get done.
But over the years and through experience I have learned that what one person needs is different from the next and that I have to respect those boundaries.
Quitter herself has taught me what the best gift usually is in those situations: my ears.
But fellow fixer Mommas like me, listen: there is a difference between listening, truly listening, and listening with the intent to fix.
The art of just listening can be very hard, very frustrating but man have I learned it really is what most need when they are hurting. Knowing you have been heard, without judgement or without being “tasked” with ways to make it better, it’s powerful. It creates this deep connection we all need as humans. I am here. I hear you.
One year later I am still trying to be there for Quitter as 365 days later, everything is definitely not better. I hope I am performing her wisdom properly.