Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Speaking On Cue

My friend S has more life experience than most people I know. The story of her life thus far and as it continues to unfold on a daily basis could give any prime time soap opera a run for its money.Talk about truth being stranger than fiction. We were chatting one evening - we both needed a friend to share our thoughts with. S isgoing through hell as she tries to help her severely depressed and unemployed brother get his life back on track. 

I was on that day having challenges with DB even if of a very different order of magnitude. I advised her to do the best she could do as a sibling without jeopardizing her own family life - to determine a timetable in which to affect (if possible) positive changes in his life. Beyond that there was not much else for her to do. She needed to define a tight boundary around her responsibility for her sibling and not allow guilt to keep expanding it constantly. She told me I had given her good advice.

Her insight about what was going on between DB and I gave me pause for thought. Her marriage is over ten years old and they had dated a few years prior. They make a wonderful couple, their energies balancing each other out in the most harmonious way. As I talked with her, I realized that I had forgotten how to support a man as a woman must. I was going about it without any finesse and DB was responding badly. 
While my intent was great, execution was a whole different matter. I was like a dancer with two left feet trying to tango with a partner who expects me to match step with him. Not only was I an shabby dancer, I was constantly stepping on his feet making what should have been a fun experience a painful one. S on the other hand had tangoed a long time and was as sure-footed as she was graceful. The advice she gave me flowed effortlessly - she practiced what she was saying every day. There was that quiet confidence in her tone that only comes with true conviction.
Always the eager student, I decided to put one of her easier lessons to test right away. It bombed seriously. I was now that actor who begins their part on cue, does not immerse themselves in the character they are playing and most definitely do not have their lines committed to memory. Without S to prop me up, I sank without a trace when DB responded a little differently than expected - I did not have the improvisation skills to continue what I had started. 
What comes so easy to S will take me years to master. In the meanwhile, I would be lucky to be able to put some of her wisdom to use in my marriage. S would not give me a failing grade on my first attempt - the fact that I tried, that I even cared enough to put myself in a situation that was inherently uncomfortable for me because I care about DB, would in her book be an A.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have no insight into the situation of course, but having read of your determination in the past, I'm sure you'll do well in your next attempt :) All the best!