Monday, November 16, 2009

One Strong Teabag

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." Yeah...I've heard that one a hundred times. While I believe the sentiment of the statement, I've come to hate being called, "the strong one" 'cause it means I've spent a ton of time in hot water. I do love that I have discovered how amazingly strong I am, but being in the hot water is exhausting. The other day I was reminded of the other half of that teabag analogy. Here it is; "...and the longer she's in hot water, the more bitter she becomes. Help her out, squeeze her with a hug and let her dry out."

It's easy to encourage someone with bumper sticker philosophy. Doling out wise quips to the hurting makes everyone feel better. I contend, however, that the "dol-er" gets more emotional satisfaction than the "dol-ee". I know that when someone we love is hurting, it's really difficult to know what to do, and sometimes words are all that comes to mind. I spent a lot of time in hot water and I know how desperately I wished someone had had the courage to help me out, squeeze me off with a hug, and let me dry out. For the most part, however, people around me only added to my bumper sticker collection.

I spent many years in hot water, and I'm stronger because of it. I am determined to fight the bitterness by using my experiences to teach and encourage others. You want to help me out? Turn off your hot water kettle, squeeze me, and sit with me while I dry out.

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