Karla’s Korner – Living in Community: Learning to Give and Receive Help

I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!

Last week I shared with my readers that I had been hobbling around with a full leg brace immobilizing my knee and that I had officially begun the journey into “maturity”, you know, old age. Hoping for a quick fix, I took my peg leg to the orthopedist on Monday morning to hear what he had to say about the situation. As I anxiously awaited for him to pay me a visit, I had my vitals taken by a very nice nurse and then shared a few moments with this assistant as she asked questions and found my x-rays on the computer screen. X-rays are really quite fascinating. When the doctor finally came in he began to examine my knee by pushing, pulling and squeezing and the proceeds to ask me if that hurt. “Ummm, yes, that is a bit uncomfortable considering the fact that I have been strapped to a leg brace for two weeks because of pain!” As I lay on the examination table with this doctor working on my leg I am taken by surprise when he asks “Have you always been this knock-kneed?” How does one answer a question like that especially when one is not completely sure what that means? “ummm yes, I guess” was all I could say and hope that it would all be over with soon. After the exam the doctor explained to me a few options one being cortisone shot which I happily took. Yay for drugs! Of course he then proceeded to explain to me the importance of dropping the excess weight I had on my body and the fact that I really need to take care of myself….especially at my age. By that time, I was ready to fall out on the floor and just cry. Knowing that everything the doctor was telling me was the truth, I really should not have been sad, but nonetheless, I was a bit taken aback and ready to leave.

On the way home I began to think about my situation and how there are other folks in worse shape than I am. Do I really have a right to complain about a little arthritis? For example, at this very minute a little girl from my community is in a Texas hospital fighting for her life; she is just 10 years old and has been battling cancer in her leg for nearly two years. Last week she chose to have her leg amputated in hopes of saving her life. So what right do I have to feel sad about a little bit of knee pain right? I mean after all I can walk on both legs and with proper care of my aged self, I should be able to maintain the pain and inconvenience and be okay.

On Thursday I met with my pastor to catch up on the goings on of my life (something that we do from time to time) and when he asked me how my leg was doing I immediately said “oh, I can’t complain, I mean there are people worse off than I am” to which he said “yes, but you cannot discount your pain and troubles because they are yours and they are important to you.” That was my “ahh ha” moment for the week. As we talked further I began to realize that it is okay for me to share my troubles with others and to ask for prayer, support or comforting thoughts because that is what is important to me. Allowing myself to be comforted while not losing sight of the fact that there are others who could use the same support from me is what being in community is all about. At some point we need to be able to find that balance between being consumed with our own hardships and providing support for others in need.

I encourage you to listen with your heart to the needs of others around you; those in your community. Allow yourself to be part of that community and to seek from others that which will bring you comfort, joy or whatever it is you seek while making sure your support is available to those who need it as well. I heard someone include a thanksgiving for hardships in their prayers this morning and realized that it is those hardships that will in the end make us stronger. American writer and businessman Max de Pree once said “We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.” Enjoy your community of friends and family this week; be open to both giving and receiving love and support and know that by doing so you will be helping to keep the spirit of community alive.

Peace,
Karla

Check out all of Karla’s Korner articles here.

Also, please visit Karla’s Lifetime Moms page and read her articles.



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