When did it happen?
As years have passed, I’ve noticed receiving more questions of “What does this mean?,” “What do you think about this?,” and generally, “Could you help me?”
When I was a young mom, I was bombarded with questions. But the questions have changed and come from many more directions than my daughters. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I find blessings through the people who approach me for feedback. It has the opposite effect on me than when I was younger.
When I was still shaky in the source of confidence, I would have received questions and others’ trust in me as a boost. I’d find pride in someone’s trust in me as an “expert” in something. But now, it is humbling. I see the responsibility that comes with it. I don’t want to have all the answers. I can’t. I want to always admit that. I want to be the vessel—an avenue people can take that helps them explore the possibilities.
I’m not the “answer” person. I’m one resource, and I pray I am able to pour into others well. I want to be truthful, encouraging, patient, and compassionate. I want to follow up and, when appropriate, invite accountability. I want to invest in others in a way that spurs growth. I want help to be a process—not a simple answer but a relationship. Sometimes those relationships are short-lived, and sometimes they span many years. Regardless of the length, as I help, I intentionally deposit into someone’s life. I don’t want to deposit burdens.
I think pouring into people’s lives has always been important to me. But I’ve definitely approached it differently through the years. I might have believed or wanted interactions to be less about me than others, but I’ve learned I can twist things in my mind and rationalize I am being more humble than I am in reality. I often feel in a sweet spot when I get to connect with others through conversations. In conversations, we don’t always ask direct questions, but our discussions can be filled with curiosity and inquiries—when we are humble. When we are proud, our conversations are more about what we can prove and declare. Pride generally passes along information, whereas, humility shares a journey that is sprinkled with information but is rooted in healthy relationships of compassion, truth, and respect.
Who looks to you for guidance? Who invites you into their lives? How do you respond? Is it more important for you to give accurate information and fix a problem in the short-term, or do you respond in a way which helps in the short-term as well as cultivates the possibility of deepening relationship? What people receive from you is important; how you reflect on what you give others matters. How honest you are with yourself matters.
Your motivations impact your relationships. Humility helps.
Are you willing to sort through your own stuff so that you can healthily set yourself aside as you pour into others?
Who comes to you isn’t nearly as important as how you approach them when they do.