Sunday, June 06, 2004

Building up or tearing down?

My response to learning of Denise's suicide has been to initiate preventive measures all around me. How do can I avoid finding myself or those I care about in this situation? It seems that preventing isolation is the key.

We'll always have circumstances that knock us for a loop: a failed financial deal, a relationship that sours or even becomes abusive, a sudden illness in the family, an expectation that isn't met... we each have our life journey to attend.

When these happen, don't we talk about it? Include someone else in our story? I know I hear people complain about how they've been treated. I hear it a lot. What I don't here is when someone feels that they've been made a fool of. At least not often. I know that's a hard one for me to share: "Hey, I feel really bad about this dumb situation I've generated for myself. Will you listen to me spill about how foolish I've been?"

And yet, these are the situations with the most to offer us as we learn to be better people.

Shoot, everyone makes mistakes. Pick yourself up, get guidance from a friend or a trusted person or from prayer, and leap into the next opportunity to make a mistake.

The concrete thing I've done this last week is to let people know that I'm willing to share stories about how Denise's death is affecting us. It's a risk, to turn a business call or meeting into a soul-search, but doing this has strengthened my connection to a half-dozen people, and weakened it in one case. That one acted very callous. Now I have a new insight about the type of person I choose to support in the good work I do.

We are here to be a blessing to each other. That's a two-way street, and this last week I've been much better at letting people bless me.

No comments: