My dad lives on a fixed income. For years, he’d tried to send me money and for years I’d tell him I was getting along fine without it – all I really wanted was the handwritten letters he’d send me in the mail because THAT was gold.
But somewhere along the line, he began to insist – or he’d send it through the mail anyway – and I decided to go along with it.
My dad wasn’t around for a lot of reasons when I was younger (you can read about that here) but then he was. And now, he’s showing love in the ways he shows love – 30 second calls, handwritten letters and money here or there.
This time, my birthday is coming up so when I picked up the phone, I knew what time it was.
For the last year or so he’s been putting money in my account which is different than before. He’d usually just send cash but his memory is so compromised (my dad has epilepsy and anxiety attacks) that oftentimes we spend 5-10 minutes on the phone trying to line up the numbers.
(I pick up the phone)
Him: Ok give it to me one more time
Me: 09876 – 67890
Him: Ok (slowly repeats) 09876 – 67800
I repeat and he writes and usually by this time I’ve said, “touch the numbers as I say them” and about 5 minutes later he has it! Joyfully, he gets off the phone only to call me an hour later with the same ask. So we do it again, and again, and again. And we do it again until he gets it.
Now, as stated, I’m getting along ok without the extra money and I’m grateful for that but this is how he shows love so I continue to engage. For him, it’s about me and for me it’s about him.
This exact scenario happened yesterday, and he called me back and left a message saying “I’m not going to do it (deposit the money)because I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong.”
Then it hit me. I do the same thing. I’ll ruminate about something, try to get it down, but when it’s time to do it or say it, I’ll be paralyzed by fear because I don’t want to get it wrong.
And that’s me with a lot of things. I’m super confident at work but in other situations I’d rather be quiet than get it wrong and honestly that hasn’t always served me.
I am proud to report that my dad did “get it right” but it was on the heels of him feeling like he wouldn’t.
If there’s something you want, or need to do or say, and you’re afraid to because you may get it wrong, feel the feeling and do it anyway. Do it with love but do it anyway.
You should’ve heard him when he called me back. He was excited and laughing – feeling good! And that’s how I want him to feel all of the time – not gripped by fear but overcome with joy because he conquered one.
Does this sound like you? What are you afraid to do because you might do it wrong?
Do what my dad did. Do it afraid, and who knows, joy may be waiting on the other side for you too.