Learned by Immersion but Not Drowning

I got out of the pool. In between the sets of doors to the shower I understood something: I cannot always meet other people's needs.

-some needs will always be impossible for me to meet--the other person has to do it him/her/zirself (e.g, self-respect). I still need awareness of self, other, and the way the world works to discern what's happening.

-some needs will not be possible for me to meet in that moment--either I won't have the knowledge or stamina (or interest, etc.), or the other person may not be ready to receive. (Know thyself more important here perhaps than boundaries.)

-some needs will be possible for me to meet at the moment or soon but at a price I may not be willing to pay--here's where boundaries and self-knowledge become most essential. Even if I could and did meet a need at one time doesn't mean I can or will or must meet that need another time.

-some needs I will meet because I want to and can. (A sense of obligation is tricky.)

The stronger and more aware I am, the more needs I can meet and the more I will stay strong and aware because I won't waste energy and time trying to meet needs I cannot or trying to recover from meeting needs I should not have met. But I also need to know and express my own needs and to people most likely to be able and willing to meet them (without being too afraid all the time to express them to the wrong person. Everyone’s always wrong some of the time).

 

Richmond, VA

I like to use words and images to create and analyze and understand. I have published a novel, many articles and photographs, and, what I have most enjoyed, seen some of my plays staged. Nonetheless, the hard drive and notebooks, perhaps like the average soul, are full of many things that have not yet found their audience.