Just recently, there was a post on my blog from a person who was hurt because they felt rejected by their dying parent. The adult child wanted to be helpful and the parent reacted by cutting the child out of their life. I wanted to share my reply.
I am so sorry this is happening with your mom… I am sure this experience has brought you many growth opportunities and I hope our phone conversation helped you to feel empowered!
Since many of us have felt, how you are feeling, how about if we use this as a teachable moment?
It can be painful when someone rejects us, especially when that person is a relative. (I’ve been there too.)
When we have gone out of our way and done everything to support that person, we have to ask ourselves the following question… “Would I feel hurt if this person was a stranger?” Unless you feel the need to have everyone like you, the answer to that question is most likely, “NO”!
Think about it… Why would there be a difference just because they are related? So let’s see how we can learn from this.
Here are some questions we can ask, when trying to be helpful:
1. Are they open for my help?
Sending a card, making a meal or saying prayers are always welcome but if the person is resisting, wait for their cue. As much as one might want to help the people we love, if they aren’t open to being helped we can simply offer love and be there when asked.
2. Did I ask for permission to help?
Another way to be helpful is by asking the person who needs help; “How can I support you?” It is always good to do an “awareness” check… Did someone ask for my help or am I forcing my views or opinions onto that person? (Regardless of our intention to be lovingly helpful.)
They might not know what they need but once they know; do it right away! Ask for preferences or as much detail as possible. If they do not care how it is done, do it to the best of your ability.
A poem that has been dear to my heart for many years comes to mind…
“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
We do not know why people react the way they do. In this case, we don’t know if it’s medications or if this person is potentially not of sound mind. Regardless, your mom has been a great teacher on, how NOT to be!. This awareness will keep your children from the pain you have experienced. So be aware and learn how to receive love & help, graciously!
Continue to Pray, continue to love unconditionally and continue to be helpful but only when needed. There are times, when we will need to love people from afar and that is ok… Forgive anyway!
Does anyone else want to share how he or she got through a similar time?