Trying To Give Away Blankets (or Help or Support or Healing) aka My ‘Gifts’
I recently had an experience around trying to give away some of my lovely (at least I think they are) crocheted blankets. If you’ve been following me for any length of time (or if you are already a client) you know that I crochet. I crochet almost every day of my life. It’s my anxiety relief and for the most part, it works well. I have had clients pick up this hobby from me and they have reported excellent results as well, but I digress.
I had made a number of baby blankets and I wasn’t sure why. When I was running low on yarn (a goal of mine, to use what I already had before buying more) I was drawn to baby colors. Then, I came across a fellow therapist about 100 miles away who was starting a group for supporting unplanned pregnancies. Perfect – I thought so I connected with her and set a date and time to meet up with her at her office the next time that I was in her area and donate these beautiful blankets. The date and time came and she essentially blew me off. She was out of town. She wasn’t available. There was no where I could leave them. And it really, really hurt me to the core. If you were to buy those blankets on Etsy, they’d easily be $100 a piece and I had 5 of them for her. I had put other projects aside to work on these baby blankets so I could get them done for her, so I could make this deadline for when I was going to be in her area.
I have been reflecting on this and I unpacked all of the blankets that I’ve made that are waiting for homes and laid them out in my office. I realized something very clearly. You can’t give something to someone, even if it’s a beautiful gift, unless they’re willing to receive it. And I think therapy is absolutely the same way.
I have come across in my work (and in my life) again and again, so many times that I could not possibly count, people where I can see the pain in them. I can FEEL the pain and I want so badly to help them but I can’t. It’s not because I don’t have the education, the experience, the skills, the compassion… It’s because they don’t want it. And I could stand in front of them, extend my hand and offer to help them but if they’re not ready, there’s nothing I can do.
One of the most painful things in my life is to see, someone who is struggling, and to offer to get resources to that person to help them and to have them reject that offer of support and even to become angry at the offer of support and help. And as a therapist, there’s never any blame. I don’t ever blame anyone. I might blame myself after a difficult session where I thought I could have said or done something differently. But I don’t ever blame a client. I don’t ever blame a parent, a child, a spouse.. There is no blame, just compassion and acceptance.
For myself, how do I shift and help people who maybe aren’t ready to be helped? How can I learn to extend my hand in a way that will allow the other person to feel validated, heard, cared for and supported – how is the best way to do that?
I recently had an amazing meeting with one of my coaches/advisors and she suggested that I get some rose quartz. Rose quartz represents unconditional love and her wise advice and counsel to me was just to send out unconditional love; even to the people who have hurt you, even to the people who have wronged you, even to the people who have rejected you. I want to try to practice that and instead of sort of insisting that someone take a blanket that I made, I will offer them and leave them until the right situation shows up.
So, what got me to write this note is that someone actually showed up. And I have an opportunity to donate, not just my blankets but also some of my pie filling and some of my jam. Both of which I have a ridiculous abundance of because I cannot waste our fruit. We have a beautiful orchard that Robert built and established and maintains for us and it is more bountiful than I can ever imagine. Here’s another lesson about that. Many times over the years, I’ve posted public invitations for people to come pick fruit for free and all I ask is that they pick a little for me in exchange. And I struggle every year with getting people to accept what I perceive to be a generous offer. So what do I need to learn and what is the lesson? The lesson is to offer with kindness and care and then let it go.
You know, we talk a lot in my work about forgiving and letting go and the letting go part is almost always where we get stuck.
So, I put these gifts out to the Universe and will I wait for the right person to show up and when they do, I am thankful and grateful beyond measure.