We can’t be everything for everyone.
I had the pleasure of attending the Women’s Guild Symposium with Women’s Guild Cedars-Sinai. Dr. Wendy Walsh, a psychologist and analyst of human behavior most notably regarding aspects of love, explained that we need to diversify our emotional portfolio. Meaning, a person with emotional well-being leans on many people for a variety of needs. We might turn to a friend to walk us through a social misunderstanding. A partner may offer a hug during periods of grief. A sibling or cousin may understand a personal issue better than anyone else. However, we implode and cause others to implode when we expect one person of being capable of shouldering everything for another human being. Whether it is a spouse, parent, sibling, or friend, Dr. Walsh makes it clear that we just can’t be everything for everyone. And we shouldn’t expect that of someone else.
In Bereshit we are instructed, “It is not good for man to be alone.” This verse was in reference to Adam finding a life partner, friend, someone with which to share the blessings of this world. I extend the verse as a reminder: we are meant to live feeling the intense pressure and responsibility of supporting many while feeling the intense relief and comfort in knowing many support us. To feel both requires effort and perspective. Part of life’s mission must be making meaningful connections, multiple connections in which we both give and take.
Looking for a way to make connections? Come to synagogue. We’d love to get to know you better. And I pray you get to know us.