No…not the Lady Gaga “Shallow” song – but let me be clear!  I love that tune! 😊 No, this shallow reference is about someone I care about who had an epiphany this week, one that provided me with insight of my own. 

You know how it is when a thunderbolt arrives, but not in the splashy, I command the sky and your attention kind of way?  This was one of those subtle revelations tucked within a lengthy conversation.  A story about family turmoil where the unspoken question was this:  Have I done enough?  Can I give up now?

When we try to reach someone we love and they’re not ready, or not interested, it’s a special form of hell.  Especially when we feel, deeply – at a molecular level – that our mission is true and just.  A closed door, the indifference can be crushing, even if it’s been the relationship undercurrent for decades upon decades. 

I like being the sunny one, the encourager, the champion, the spark to help both myself and others problem-solve and summon tactics and ideas to prompt longed-for interaction and connection.  Yes…but. Know what I’m learning?  Our well-intended pursuits need to fall away, at times. Carrying the disappointment of ill-fated attempts, while lugging embers of positivity?  Too much, I say, and yet I don’t like to give up, give in. It feels like retreating. 

As I talked with my dear one, I realized I’ve changed, in response to indifference. I can’t be the one to do all the work, nor should my friend.  As much as I enjoy introspection and the opportunities to mull and consider ‘big, bothersome questions’, on my own, it can be transformative to take the time to sound out issues with a confidante, allowing the external processing of life’s conundrums to unfold. The conversation, sharing, commiseration and confirmation that we’re not alone — as we tussle with relationships and navigational challenges can be enough.

And this. I love a good summation, a wrap-up moment when these magical exchanges occur.  My dear one sighed toward the end of our conversation and said:

“I see it’s not me.  What I want to talk about isn’t on his radar at all.  I can’t get through because he’s in the shallows and I’m looking for depth.”

And for now, that was enough.

Vicki ❤

25 thoughts on “Enough

  1. I can relate to this. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been a “helper” and it’s such a challenge when others aren’t ready or receptive. I love the analogy of shallows versus depth… it suggests we’re in the same pool and but haven’t ventured to the other end yet, but there is the potential to navigate towards each other in the space. Brilliant! Thanks for this, Vicki! ❤️

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Erin! I’m glad it hit a note of recognition for you. The helpers need to know they can take a day off…swim in the other direction…circle back…or not. It sure beats the heck out of endlessly treading water and waiting, waiting, waiting — no matter how good our intentions are. 😉😉😉 xo to you! 🤍🤍🤍

      Liked by 2 people

  2. While I know that you definitely weren’t referring to me in this post, you certainly could have been. This in particular was one of the hardest realizations I ever had to be okay with: “I see it’s not me. What I want to talk about isn’t on his radar at all. I can’t get through because he’s in the shallows and I’m looking for depth.” Sometimes enough really is enough but learning that can be incredibly painful.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Deb. On one hand, I’m glad the post made sense to you, on the other hand, I’m sorry it did because it’s a tough place to be, as you said. And I agree — getting to a place of clarity can be painful and drawn out. Sending hugs to you – thank you so much for sharing. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh geez, this could have been me as well. I’m still learning this over and over. The desire to fix things is so strong and to give a problem some air when I’ve realized I’ve done all I can – hard to do!

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Yep, I’ve been in this situation, too. You try to reason with/model how to live and the person doesn’t get it. They’re not ready to go down that path, so you have to leave them behind. Sad, but true.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep. Reminds me of when my dad used to say ‘fish or cut bait’…and somehow, he always knew when to do so. Especially the ‘cut bait’ decisions. Hard lessons to learn, but good ones, I say. Thanks much, Ally. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree – it’s so tough, but when we’re working harder than the person we’re trying to help is, it really is time to step back. Although I like the way Erin suggested it as being in a different part of the pool. Makes it seem more hopeful, just in case the other person decides they want to move out of the shallows. Lovely post, Vicki! 🤍

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh gosh—another blog that hits me right between the eyes. I have lots of experience at being both the enthusiastic helper and the reluctant helpee, so I completely understand the frustrations of each. But here’s the thing. While the helpee may not be a happy receiver today, at some point ,a time may come when a new awareness of some wisdom that was imparted by a helper suddenly pops up and voila! The light suddenly dawns, and help is accepted. We can only plant seeds. If and when they sprout isn’t up to us. Thank goodness!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that, Julia! What a beautiful point you make about planting seeds for a future “harvest” of insight, enlightenment, awareness! I know I’ve been on the receiving end of “time-released” wisdom…useful nuggets that I couldn’t embrace in the moment, but yielded an a-ha down the road. I so enjoy your perspective. Hugs and love to you! ❤️😘❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You’ve nailed it Victoria. I always feel like it’s a retreat, like I’m failing, but it really does “take two to tango.” I know this isn’t exactly where you were headed, but your piece reminded me of Mister Rogers famous quote about the helpers: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Love it Victoria.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a touching and relatable story: thank you so much for sharing it and the moving and memorable “he’s in the shallows and I’m looking for depth” quote.

    Sometimes there is much wisdom in saying “enough.” Especially when it’s one of those situations of pushing a rope. It might be painful for someone as gracious and giving as you to say “enough” but sometimes it’s the only wise path to take. I had a friend who worked as a nurse at a hospice, and even though she found her job immensely rewarding, it was also, she said, very draining. She told me, after she broke up with her then partner, that she couldn’t afford a draining personal relationship as well. Sometimes it’s the only thing you can do. Thank you for the wisdom you share!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your friend’s insight…given what she does for work, she needs to be extra protective of her energy level and how she uses it. Thanks for reading and for sharing that, EW. Appreciate you so much for your wisdom, heart and input! 💕💕💕

      Like

  8. “When we try to reach someone we love and they’re not ready, or not interested, it’s a special form of hell.” A big Amen to that! Did anybody ever say that caring for people is easy? If so, they were dead wrong 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wowza — yes, Todd! And when the ‘going gets tough’ I know I’ve been tempted more than once to walk away. Often with really, really good rationale for doing so! I’m learning. Sometimes it’s okay to share that we’re available – without leaning in too much – and that’s enough. Adjusting my own expectations seems to be key to avoiding that ‘special form of hell’. 😉 Really appreciate your comment – and hope you have a terrific weekend! 😎

      Liked by 1 person

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