I Hate Feeling Powerless

I have no idea where to begin tonight’s blog.  My next ’30 Days’ topic isn’t one I want to tackle right now – not hiding from it, just one of those I don’t know how to write about and would rather skip (but I won’t).

This morning was weird.  My other half has been hormonal lately.  And no, I’m not being chauvinist – there’s WAY more to that story, I assure you.  We’ll get to all that another time – over tea or something.  Anyway, she even cried a little as I held her in bed.  She’s in a complicated place at the moment.  And I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it.  And I guess that has to be okay.  One thing I’ve been trying to work on within myself is realizing that when someone around me has a problem or brings a problem to me, I don’t have to take it on and immediately try to help solve it.  Sometimes the best (and/or only) thing to do is simply listen and be there for moral support.  I don’t even have to proactively offer advice, only if asked.  Most people who are just being dramatic bring you problems because they’re hoping you’ll give them advice on how to fix it.  People who are legitimately hurting from something may not even want advice – even if they feel like they do – but rather, may just want someone to vent to, or someone to give two shits for a moment.

So far I suppose it’s working, because I am catching myself thinking about offering a solution, then realizing that I don’t have to and taking another tactic.

But, all in all she’s fine now.  She had a good rest all day (she’s a night owl) and is currently listening to Arabic music and doing a little living room dancing.  This is part of why I love her.

We had a little talk about a big topic we’d been entertaining last fall.  It came up this morning, after I was supremely inspired by a friend’s post on Facebook about an adventure.  I won’t go into any more detail just yet, as I don’t know where (if anywhere) this is going yet.  Anyway, the talk about reassessing that situation turned into not talking about it right now because we don’t want to just “talk about talking about it.”  If it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.  More to come, in some fashion I’m sure.

That turned my mood right around this morning though, after getting that dose of inspiration from my friend’s words.  I sent wifey a text, and a suggestion to discuss this evening.  I went from my solemn, blue mood to a much happier place.

In other news, the weekend’s almost upon us.  I need to get BUSY with some creative projects on my plate – I’ve been asked by a friend to do a commissioned piece (paintings), another friend to work on an image for an outdoor sign for his restaurant, and I have a poetry/art book project I’m in the middle of, as well as editing photos for a photography book.  Ugh!  I wish I could devote my full-time attention to these matters – but then, I’m sure most artists do.  But, alas, I must keep a day job.  Luckily it’s one I do well and like, so I ain’t complainin’ too much.

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10 thoughts on “I Hate Feeling Powerless

  1. Your “other half” is very lucky to have someone who recognizes that sometimes, people aren’t looking for advice. They just want to vent or express an emotion or simply be held. It’s easier to try and fix people’s problems – we want to help. Realizing that we can’t, or at least that we shouldn’t, can be a challenge.

    Great post!

  2. Your assessment is so perfect. When in trouble, we need people to listen because if they only offer advice, we believe perhaps rightly that they don’t understand. We need to listen even when the other person is not saying anything, and that is difficult. When you are conscious of it, it is really difficult to never give advice unless asked. It seems that we are somehow trained to give advice that is unconscious, and how can that be good advice?

    This post shows deep understanding. I wish you didn’t have to go to your day job but glad you have the freedom to post this.

    • Thanks very much man! For a few years I’ve been consciously trying to avoid giving unsolicited advice. Just b/c I think I have the answer/*an* answer to the problem at hand doesn’t mean I need to give – it doesn’t even mean the person wants an answer or would be receptive to advice they didn’t ask for, however helpful (or not). Hope what I said there makes sense.

  3. Oh, and sometimes, powerless is a wonderful feeling if we can seek to understand whatever the power is. It is nice when we do not hold ourselves responsible for the things that we cannot control. I feel I can only control my behavior, and only sometimes with that.

    • Yes, there can be power in powerlessness – beauty in the breakdown and such… It’s not about what happens to us, but how we react to it – what we do with that situation – that matters. And as for not giving unsolicited advice, I’m only a man; it doesn’t always work. But I’m glad I catch myself most of the time.

  4. I too have this problem sometimes and have literally had to close my mouth when I’m about to give out advice instead of listen. It’s hard to do at times because I do want to fix it for them if I can. However, a lot of times I’m not the one who can fix it.

    I’m glad that you and your other half do have that kind of relationship to be ok with the silence when needed and to know that you each have the other one’s back no matter what. That kind of security and relationship is a beautiful thing.

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