I have a need to nurture. I’ve known that for a long time, but I’m sometimes embarrassed to admit it. Does this mean I’m not done mothering? Or am I somehow seeking to make myself necessary to others by providing comfort? I like to bake, and I frequently take food to work to share. Does this mean that I’m needy, looking for approval? It can be confusing. Am I giving comfort, or seeking it?
Well, like many answers in life, I’m guessing the truth is somewhere in the middle. I am giving comfort with food, or by doing a favor, or by…(fill in the blank here). And of course I enjoy the approval that comes my way when my food is appreciated, or I know I’ve made a difference in someone’s day by helping out.
But I also think the answer is more complex than either of these obvious choices. The truth is, I am comforted and nurtured when I give to others. That doesn’t make me a saint or anything special. In fact, it could be argued that because this behavior feeds me emotionally, my giving is more about me than others. But it’s really a nice balance between the two. Everyone has strengths, and I believe that strength is a reflection of behavior or attitude that flows naturally. My strength reflects my core.
I know people who are wonderful leaders, decision-makers, clear-thinking and strong enough to create their vision for work, mission, family. I know others who are detail oriented, dedicated to seeing the smallest task through to completion. I know people who dream big and see the goal to be met. Each personality has strength, and mine happens to be sharing comfort, nurturing when I can, in small ways or large.
It took me a long time to accept that about myself, to recognize bringing comfort to others as a strength. It seemed like I was just being nice, when all along, I was being strong. Good to know!