This largely unedited free-write is linking up with the Write 31 Days Challenge. // indicates the start and stop of five minutes. The prompt word for today is NEIGHBOUR. Go!
// I was just about to sit down and write an eloquent speech about “Who is my neighbour?” exploring the various personalities around me each day who qualify for ‘neighbour’ status.
- The lovely widow next door who greets me with a cheerful smile.
- The kind man in the wheelchair who patiently asks for handouts in front of the grocery store.
- The fellow school parents who pass me on the road each morning with a friendly wave.
You know them all.
But then I mistakenly opened Facebook this afternoon and was met by a surprising post by a ‘Facebook friend’ who was passive-aggressively complaining that no one was paying attention to her, no one was encouraging her. What? Are you kidding me? I had been with this person regularly over the past three days. I had paid attention. I had encouraged. I had reached out. Many of us had. How on earth could she say that?
And it got me thinking… Why do some people feel they can’t legitimately ask for help in person? Why must it be over social media? As if that will be ANY more helpful than simply saying,
“Hey, I’m feeling really discouraged today. Can we go for coffee?”
But then it got me thinking, and I realized that being a Good Neighbour is so much MORE than just knocking on the door to make sure the other person is ok. That’s only part of it. // Just as importantly, if you are the one behind the door, it means that you…
- Actually OPEN THE DOOR! That’s the critical ingredient that allows encouragement to reach its target… your heart ♥
Without the conscious decision to OPEN THE DOOR, kindness and encouragement fall on deaf ears.
That’s why women who are so naturally gifted in reaching out to others are the first to hide their own need.
That’s why they spend their energy on everybody else only to silently wallow in self-pity and despair.
That’s why they are the LAST to let anyone know that they are struggling.
That’s why they hear encouragement but don’t actually receive it.
Why must we wait for a Facebook post before you SAY something?
Perhaps I’m especially passionate about this subject because I know how damaging depression can be. Been there, done that. And I’ve also experienced the horror of postpartum depression with my second child. It’s terrible… I get it!
But I also understand that the enemy would MUCH rather keep you silent and isolated than have you find your healing as you walk it out with the people who love you. That’s WHY women are so ashamed to say anything out loud. That’s WHY they put on a pretty face and suffer in silence.
But my friends, let me tell you, the root of this deep fear of vulnerability is actually PRIDE―not wanting to be known for who you really are. And that’s an ugly thing because it keeps you soooo alone and vulnerable in the corners of your mind. And the scary part is that the people around you won’t even know that it’s happening.
You were NEVER meant to walk this road alone!
The Bible says it this way…
“Two people are better than one because together they have a good reward for their hard work. If one falls, the other can help his friend get up. But how tragic it is for the one who is all alone when he falls. There is no one to help him get up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10
Being a good neighbour is so much more than just baking cookies and greeting each other with a “Hi-dee-ho, Neighbour.” You cannot expect people to read your mind or see past the façade that you are wearing―we’re only human.
You must CHOOSE to open the door and let us in.
Yes, it’s scary, but it’s absolutely necessary for your survival!
So, here’s an urgent reminder for all of us (myself included)… When the clouds of depression and discouragement hide the sunshine from your face, PICK UP THE PHONE AND CALL A FRIEND!Being a good neighbour begins by being REAL in real life! Click To Tweet
To read more of 31 Days of Mom Awesomeness, click here.
For more information on the Write 31 Days challenge, check out Christina Hubbard’s site!