Monday, November 19, 2007

Service Vs. Neediness

Let it be hereby known that I am entirely too tired to write...but I'm doing it anyway.

Isn't it interesting how emotionally vulnerable you are when you need to go to bed? It's easy to be happy about things you'd be too smart to waste your time on by daylight.

I really, really love to make other people happy. If there's something I can do, whether it's rubbing sore shoulders, making a meal, or sitting and listening, I am happy to do it. (Often I'm not as inclined to give them something purely for the sake of their smile, or just tell them know how special they are, but I try to do that sometimes too, especially if I know it's exactly what they need.) It's wonderful to know that I can make a difference in how someone sees life on a particular day.

On the downside, I'm sometimes inclined to "serve" where I have no business too. It's not really service if it harms me, or if it's something that is just going to make things worse even if my intentions are good.

And it's certainly not service if it's just plain curiosity. "What would happen if I did this nice thing? How would you feel? What would you think?" That's called pushing buttons, friends, and something that I am sometimes far too inclined to do, especially (well, specifically) with guys. I like to be needed, to feel helpful, but targeting people's weaknesses in order to feel loved is not the way to go.

It's not something I specifically set out to do; I just don't think of it like that. The thought process is much more along the lines of "oh, I bet that would make you really happy right now," and then it gets tangled because at that point, it may not be a sincere thing on my part...I may just be doing it for the reaction.

There's really a fine line between serving because you know you have the power make someone happy, and serving to act on the Lord's behalf. I think it's a pride thing..."I am capable of doing this. I am capable of making you feel like I am wonderful. I am capable of making you feel like I am exactly what you need."

I do not want to play into someone else's neediness. I can either "add" to someone, because I cater to their neediness, and he to mine, or we together can "multiply" because we are already complete by ourselves, with the Lord, and we bring that completeness to each other, making much more than just the sum of two parts.

If that is something I still need to learn, then I am glad that I have had some difficult experiences, so that I could be taught this. I'm glad that the Lord has not blessed me with the kind of guy I want to date and marry someday. He knows that I'm really not ready for that yet, and loves me perfectly anyway. I'm trying to do that too.

1 comment:

  1. I'm kind of the same way; I am a serious empath, and I can kinda sense other people's emotions and I want to help make it better. I also have the tendency to pick apart every single little thing and figure out what it really means to them and I end up making some sort of psycological mess out of it, but I mostly do it with Lauren, which turns out bad, because sometimes, words don't work. The service that seems to work best is simply letting them know that you are there if there's anything you can help with.