I was talking to a friend the other day and she told me this story about her nephew. I thought it was both interesting and profound.
This little guy was at a family gathering and he tripped and fell. Of course, he cried and was unsettled, but not hurt. He sat on his mom’s lap for a few minutes and continued to quietly cry. He was soaking in the nurture and love. After some time his mom encouraged him to get up and play, and a few nearby relatives started to try to make him laugh. He had no interest in laughing nor getting up. Finally after a few attempts from the well-meaners, he said, “I’m not done cwyin’!”
When she shared that little story with me, I thought how profound. He wasn’t going to be fooled. He wasn’t going to be rushed. He knew what his needs were. He was safe to say what he needed. He wanted more touch-time, comfort, and nurture, and he didn’t want to be rushed.
How often do we try to talk people out of their feelings, or rush them through their emotions, or try to make them laugh when they don’t feel like laughing? How often do we just sit with them quietly, without words, answers, or jokes? We often don’t because we are uncomfortable. We don’t like when people are sad or mad or hurt. We don’t like when there is uncertainty, quiet, feelings, pain. So often I think we try to comfort out of our own motives – so that we can move on and feel ok – so that we don’t have to feel. Often we get into our “own stuff” and feel inadequate if we can’t fix things, change things, or make things go away. Selfish motives? Maybe? Ouch.
Kids know what they need. Adults do to if they are not trying to be brave, or “selfless”, or strong, or without needs. It is more than ok to be ok with any feelings. It is more than ok to ask for what you need. It is more than ok to declare, “I’m not done cwyin’!”.
If you are with someone with needs, it is more than ok to not have the answers; to sit quietly; to hold the humor; to be present without an agenda. It is more than ok to just be, to hold his/her needs safely, to pray, to not understand.
Integrative thought: Take the time to “cwy”…you know your needs, you know your timing, you know what feels good…honor that. If you are being with someone who is honoring his/her own needs…take the time to do the same…see what happens, you might be surprised…you might learn something…just a thought.