CAUMC-Meredith has said, more than once, in Affirmations that I'm a really comfortable presence to be around, which is a descriptor I still haven't entirely internalized.
My mom commented:
I think that "never-ending list of things to be concerned about" is part of your maturity. You actually notice, and are concerned, and that's a good sign. Makes your mother-wolf's heart warm.While I know this -- that being aware of and attentive to stuff outside yourself is part of being a grownup -- I don't think I'd thought to connect it to the idea of "maturity" per se.
She emailed me about my "how do pastors do it?" and in part talked about Linnea's work as a hospital chaplain.
She had very clear boundaries. She was totally present in the moment, and somehow learned to let it go when she wasn't. I learned that when I worked on a hotline in high school. But sometimes, all your training and defenses aren't enough and you still get creamed.That's intense -- the idea of this being sacred ground. It reminded me that one of the things I learned* in 2008 [which didn't even occur to me to put in my year in review, 'cause I didn't think of it until I read my mom's email] is an appreciation of the value of trust -- of what a big deal it is (can be) for people to trust you with things, and more about how to honor that trust.
I tend to think that is the cost of loving. But I also think it's sacred ground. When I am "watching one hour" (ref: Jesus in the garden with the disciples), I feel closest to my core reason for being here.
Your people are blessed to have you there to lean on.
* Along the way I repeatedly hurt someone I care very much about, and at one point thought I'd irreparably damaged our relationship, but we're actually good now -- for which I am ever grateful. I was responding to an email earlier today, alluding to something from March, and I grokked the other party's stance in a way that I really hadn't before. Which was good -- except that then I felt bad about how I'd behaved in that interaction, as opposed to feeling defensive like I had at the time, which while not a positive feeling either is less of a downer. But really the distance and the growth is good. (Patience is HARD, but I can now actually say that I really understand that sometimes you just have to let go of things -- though I think there's a lot of grace involved in having the ability to let go of things.) I'm not obsessively dwelling anymore (shuddup), and I really have let go of a lot of the sort of unresolved stuff. I'm more zen about the fact that it was a weird and difficult and problematic relationship and we both handled it poorly in a lot of ways and that's over and we are where we are now ... and am less invested in delineating blame.
hour follows hour
like water follows water
everything is governed by the rule
of one thing leads to another
you can't really place blame
cuz blame is much too messy
some was bound to get on you
while you were trying to put it on me
and don't fool yourself
into thinking things are simple
nobody's lying still the stories don't line up
why do you try to hold on
to what you'll never get a hold on
you wouldn't try to put the ocean
in a paper cup
and maybe the most we can do
is just to see each other through it
hour follows hour like water in a river
and from one to the next
we don't know what each hour will deliver
we just call it like we see it
call it out loud as we can
and then afterwards we call it all water over the dam
maybe the moral higher ground
ain't as high as it seems
maybe we are both good people
done some bad things
i just hope it was okay
i know it wasn't perfect
i hope in the end we can laugh
and say it was all worth it
and maybe the most that we can do
is just to see each other through it
we make our own gravity to give weight to things
then things fall and they break and gravity sings
we can only hold so much is what i figure
try and keep our eye on the big picture
picture keeps getting bigger
and too much is how i love you
but too well is how i know you
and i've got nothing to prove this time
just something to show you
i guess i just wanted you to see
that it was all worth it to me