I am not the nurturing type. If you go by my Jungian Archetype, I’m a Jester. I like to laugh, I like for people to be entertained by and with me, and I like to make people feel good by listening to them and caring about what they have to say. I like to encourage people, which literally means “to put courage in”. And I might just do that with a pie to the face.
That being said, I was sharing with a client today the fact that I’m not a very good nurturer. I explained to her that I will probably not censor my feelings or opinions as we choose colors and images and fonts for her brand. I will point out when she’s being dramatic and make note of the fact that she can do that somewhere else. I will not cater to her feelings of overwhelm, nor try to talk her out of self-doubt. I will show up consistently and fully for her to help her reach her desired goal, push her past her fears, and make her laugh a lot throughout the process. Maybe with a pie to the face. Because that’s funny.
And this is me.
This is me with my partner, me with my son, me with my friends. And I’ve often felt really badly about that.
I shared with that same client today that I envied her nurturing side. I envied how romantic and feminine she could be while I was wearing the same sweatshirt as I was on Tuesday. I can empathize and care about another person’s feelings all day. But I will never like pink. I won’t enjoy talking for hours and hours on end about feelings. And I won’t rush with imperative concern to my son’s side when he trips and scrapes his knee.
I will tell him to get up.
So her response made my ears perk up:
“It’s funny to hear you say that you are not a nurturer. I have felt SO nurtured by you, SO supported, and I just adore you. If that means I have to have a pie ready for when I meet you in person, so be it! You’re the best.”
You hear that? I’M THE BEST.
But beyond that, pie-to-the-face and all, she felt nurtured. I had never thought about it this way, but it would appear that even without the typical hallmarks of a deeply loving supporter, I actually do nurture in my own way. And other people notice it. They even like it!
There has been so much in my life lately that has made me question my own worth. Not being the woman I think I should be, the mother, the partner, the right size, the kind of friend…we all go through this, but when I’m going through it, it’s way worse than when you go through it. I’m sure of that. It has to be! Because so few other women share the feelings of utter despair they feel when they don’t measure up. We just keep smiling and doing the dishes and hoping eventually someone notices we’re nearing the end of the rope or maybe When Harry Met Sally comes on TV and turns it all around for us. And then, out of the blue, we find out that for just one person, one CLIENT even, we’re enough. More than being enough, we’re enough just the way we are. In my mind they’re like little life preservers God tosses to us so we can get over the next wave.
I thought about throwing you all a life preserver today, but then I decided that would be kind of nurture-y and that’s not my thing. So I want to encourage you to BE a life preserver today. Toss out a little truth, a little love, a little hope. Maybe no one needs it today. Or maybe someone REALLY needs it today. And do it in a way that is honest to you. Whether that’s a sweet compliment or a pie to the face, I promise that the person on the other end will understand what you’re trying to do.