The Nature of Support aka: I Hate Housekeeping

Doing housework is where I get some of my best ideas.  You’d think I’d clean house more often  – but I don’t.

My avoidance is irrational. I hate cleaning house.

Cleaning today I was grouchy. I was thinking ugly thoughts about what I deserve and who is disrespecting me by my cleaning the floor on a beautiful day.

I told you it was irrational.

I was also thinking about some of the folks in our Square Peg community. Yesterday was a rough day. Lots of folks needed attending to. Whenever I gave someone my time, I felt I was failing three others.

I got thinking: What is it to feel supported?

My mind went back to housekeeping. What about my needs? Look at Cinderella –  cleaning floors while everyone else is at the ball. What about support for me?

Irrational. We covered that.

I had this thought – if I had the extra cash, should I seek a therapist?  Or, and this is where it gets weird – or a housekeeper?

Having someone to do the deep cleaning makes me feel supported.

I’m not bragging of superior mental health – it’s about the nature of support.

I dialogued with a mom yesterday about her isolation and fear for her child’s future and the lengths she goes to provide an environment where he can thrive.  I think about the young adults in our network that are aging out of services. I think about our brilliant kids who aren’t thriving in school and why.

How do we define who gets supports and who doesn’t?

There is the larger picture of the Dignity of support.

If I hire a housekeeper to help with the things I’m struggling with – and she makes it clear that my failure as a housekeeper is “so sad” then I feel like a jerk and unworthy and a loser. I don’t feel supported.

If she ran around my house telling me that if I just tried harder, I could wash windows as well as anybody – I’d have grounds to fire her. Why is it okay for a therapist, a tutor or a doctor to treats us or our most vulnerable children the same way?  With pity or contempt – we are not truly supported and no matter how talented or expensive the therapist is or how scientifically backed the method might be – we always feel like a “lesser than.” The supporter is just raising themselves up on the shoulders of the people they say they are are supporting and the client, while they might feel served – does not feel supported.

Dignity.  It changes the lens we use when we support someone and how we are supported.

“The greatest poverty is not hunger. The greatest poverty is loneliness and a feeling of not being wanted.” Mother Theresa

“I hope you don’t mind the dog-hair.” Joell Dunlap

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