How Long Will You Wait?

…for your heart’s longing?

I have a lot of thoughts I share only with those closest to me. I’m pretty sure everyone has them, but the only folks I meet who express them are misfits like me.

I was entering a local restaurant last night and held the door for a woman who was 90 if she was a day. She was dressed and accessorized impeccably. I smiled as she thanked me, but what I was thinking was, “Skip the entree. They have a chocolate cake here to die for and you might not live to enjoy it.”

I know, that’s a little bit evil. My mind does that without my permission.

My thought was short lived. As I was about to enter, I heard a woman scream, “That’s okay, mom! Don’t wait for me! You’ll wait for Stephen and Emily and George, but not for me!”

I turned to see a woman who was 70 if she was a day bustling across the parking lot. She was haggard and had permanent frown lines. Bitterness emanated from her and yet with a second look I saw a profound sadness and longing.

Do you see that stuff too?

I know other folks have thoughts they’re not proud of but find funny. I know plenty of other people are empathic and look deeper than the surface. It’s part of why I need to have so many recovery folks in my life – it makes me feel a lot less alone to know that you see it too.

All I could think was, “Damn, you’ve waited seven decades for mom’s approval and you’re still holding out?”

Cue Anna Nalick singing in my head, “There’s a light at the end of this tunnel you shout, cuz you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out.”

Too many of us just don’t know how to stop waiting.

I know this – passive approaches don’t work for us…ever…in anything. Ask for what you want. Demand it. If you can’t get it, walk away. Start detaching from them and start reconnecting with yourself.

Take a long look at yourself and ask, “Do I treat me like they do?”

That one will kick you in the gut.

Find folks who are happy to give what you need if the folks you were born to won’t. Stop making it hard for people to love you, approve of you, accept you. I get it – we’re not the people you wanted to come through for you.

We’re just the ones who are willing and able to.

So let us.

I know, it’s too easy to stay stuck in the injustice. There’s this image we all have of what a family is supposed to be and we didn’t get to have one of those.

Be honest – are you still waiting?

What if the person who has to come through for you…is you?

Jim LaPierre

About Jim LaPierre

Jim LaPierre LCSW CCS is the Executive Director of Higher Ground Services in Brewer, Maine. He is a Recovery Ally, mental health therapist and addictions counselor. He specializes in facilitating recovery (whether from addiction, trauma, depression, anxiety, or past abuse) overcome obstacles, and improve their quality of life. Jim offers a limited amount of online therapy to those with very flexible schedules.