God Used A Turtle

Nobody knew I have been coddling a low grade bad attitude toward Kevin this week.  He has been one of my closest confidant’s for the past 10 years.

We hung out last weekend.

Every two or three months we will make a trip to where he lives ( 45 minutes), go out for a bite to eat, then as often as not, hang out for another hour to catch up on each other’s lives.

Our friendship became more active about 5 years ago, after he went through multiple heartaches.  I’m not going to list them, other than to say, imagine loosing a mate or child…take that emotional pain and multiply it by 3 in the span of 3 years.

Mind numbing, random, confusing, heartache upon heartache.

During those years, I’ve helped him move, done random projects around the house because he was just so overwhelmed,  have had dozens of heart to heart conversations, mostly listened, as he has tried to regain his emotional balance.

Last Fall, I could sense he had turned the corner on a lot of his grief.  I don’t think you ever “get over” some kinds of grief, I do think the intensity of it can taper off a little.

When we hung out last Saturday, It felt like he was working real hard to stay engaged, but there was definitely an emotional disconnect as we were together.

Things are not the same.  His life is starting to become full.

Wife even commented on it when we got home.

It feels like the relationship has started to go stale.

I’ve lived long enough now to experience the ebb and flow of relationships in my life.  Not all of them continue on and on…throw in a move, or graduation, or children enter the picture, you name it, people change, relationships change.

I get that.

Kevin said he may be moving out of state within the year.

I was feeling just a little sad and devalued after hanging out.

Speaking just for myself, If I’m not careful , sometimes, (often?)  feelings of rejection will not stay like that for very long. They have a way of fermenting into a low grade bad attitude,   I know better than to nurse  a grudge, but sometimes, somehow, I still manage to build a wall in my heart.  How dare you hurt me. So I wall off another little corner of my heart, stick another relationship up in a box in my closet and move on.

Men I think are especially good @ compartmentalizing things.
I know I am.

So, anyway, this morning someone posted one of those cute little clips on Youtube.

It helped me see my relationship with Kevin in a whole new light…..

I am a turtle tipper.

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18 thoughts on “God Used A Turtle

  1. Great analogy! 🙂 You’re right .. sometimes our ego loves the feeling of being helpful, until we’re not needed anymore, and then we question our role in the relationship. My goal is to stop helping so many and do a little more for myself (( hard to do!!))

    Great post! MJ

    Liked by 1 person

    • But you know, while I knew we were encouraging “Kevin” it has honestly been a two way relationship in terms of encouragement, so I’ve been thinking right along, this is one of those closer relationships that would continue to grow and deepen the rest of my life.

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  2. Perfect mix of deep, sincere thought. With the twist of humor at the end that made me smile. one of the reasons I love your blog so much! I have recently had to let go of some relationships that had meant a lot to me and it hurts right now but I know that is what has to be done so if I post finding…I think I’m a turtle tipper too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey DM, this post rang true to many of my experiences…I don’t know that my feeling of hurt always gets turned to anger but experiences like this definitely have been hard and hurtful! (but much less so over time).
    That said, I would say two things for me personally: 1) I am reconciled to the fact that I will probably find myself in these situations again. Why? Because I LIKE the intimacy (and I mean purely emotional intimacy) I get when I am helping someone at a hard time. I like that I am there and helping them out, even when it is sometimes exhausting, or a strain, or almost too much…NOT because I am a saint–I CAN be a nice person, but saint, no…but because I am doing something good and meeting a need…but also because I get something out of it, too. People are vulnerable when they are down, they are often in touch with deeper truths about life– and that means being around them, there is no time for bullshit. Priorities are clear-cut– things need to be done to keep life going, people need to be listened to so THEY can keep going, hurts need to be soothed and grief tended to. I LIKE living inside of the bubble of no-bullshit land. I feel useful but I also feel like I am living life as it is meant to be– people helping each other, relating, doing. Not getting caught up in crap about appearances, not stuck in pettiness, not jockeying for status, not wasting time on useless anger.
    So I know that I am not just such a wonderful, helping person– I am also someone who is getting MY needs met. My needs to be useful, important, good. My needs to feel close to other human beings.

    So then I meet a need and lo and behold– the other person uses their own inner resources, time heals some wounds, and maybe some of the help I’ve provided has made a difference…and the person is ready to move on. I’ve had this happen with friends who’ve gotten married and don’t need me to confide in and hang with them all the time; roommates who got their shit together and didn’t need to lean on me anymore; depressed and anxious friends who pulled out of their anxiety and depression; sick people and needy people who aren’t sick or aren’t needy anymore. I love the turtle tipper idea– I will proudly admit to having done some good turtle tipping in my time, and feel good about it– but I also think of it in terms of one of the most common experiences we all know about– that of the parent who SUCCESSFULLY raises their kids.

    If you are successful (and if the economy is OK), your kids DON’T live in your basement forever, wanting to have dinner with you every night, tell you about their day, and asking to have their laundry done. If they are successful, they find their own worlds to explore. They meet someone to love– and grow their own families. They educate themselves and learn to work. And the phrase “empty-nest syndrome” is one we all know, because the experience of MISSING our little needy birds is probably somewhat universal. (Although the teenage years are probably a pretty good way to beat that missing out of us, LOL! My kids aren’t teens yet but I’m sure my parents were good and ready for both me and my brother to leave the nest when we did!) Anyway…it’s pretty clear cut when it comes to kids. They were VERY vulnerable and needy once…and if we do the right thing, they barely need us at all in the flush of full adulthood. In fact, if we really do things right, and luck is in our favor, they will come back and try to help US, when we become old and needy and vulnerable…and if we raised them with grace, maybe they will come back and offer the same graceful help to us.

    So hey, turtle tipper, you done good. I say, relish the hurt you feel– it’s the hurt of someone who is losing a good thing– a meaningful connection and a sense of being needed– because you did your job RIGHT. God used you and that little sting you have now that you’re done being used should be a badge of honor…it says you didn’t take the easy way and give a man a fish, you taught a man to fish…and now he’ll eat forever. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to visit him wherever he moves to, and he’ll serve you at his table. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That’s a truly wonderful video.Somehow, it never had occurred to me that turtles would help one another out like that — but why not? Birds, cats, dogs, cattle, and other animals do. Wouldn’t it be great if we could talk to these animals about their “secret lives”?

    Liked by 1 person

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