Loving a five is not easy – I’m not going to lie! We understand this and we wish we were a little easier to love. As with most things, we are keenly self-aware. We see and feel the awkwardness just like you do. To be honest, our entire lives have felt like a constant game of “which of these does not match the others?” It’s us! We get it. And to love us well, we need you to get it, too. Don’t try to fix us or imply we need to be fixed. Don’t convince us we can (or should) have more fun. And don’t just put up with us or count us out.
SEE us. HEAR us. LOVE us.
We feel most loved when we are seen, heard and acknowledged.
If it feels like we have tall walls or fences around areas of our life – we do.
If you wonder if that wall or fence is in place because of you or people like you – it is.
Is it personal? No.
Is it necessary? Probably not.
Is it comforting to us? Absolutely.
Eventually (and we promise, it will come eventually), safe people can come in. Eventually we learn to put doors on our walls and gates on our fences, allowing people to come and go. The key word here is eventually. Please understand that as much as you want to know us, we want to know you too. The hard part is not knowing you, it’s letting you know us. Give us time. We are studying you – picking up on every little clue and nugget of information.
It’s ok for you to study us too – is there something you always say that shuts us down? Pick up on that clue. Is there a setting that makes us come alive? Let’s go there together more often. Do we always respond or react a certain way to a situation or setting? Please see the pattern and acknowledge it. We have spent a lot of energy deciding what’s worth our energy. When you spend a little energy paying attention, we feel so loved and seen.
It is really, really hard for us to ask for help. Know why? Because logically, we should be able to take care of everything ourselves. In most cases, we are our best resource. Self-sufficiency is our badge of honor. To us, asking for help means we are incapable in our own strength or ability. To love us well in this, please use caution!
Don’t bombard us with your helpfulness
Don’t surprise us with a solution
By all means, please do not go around us to solve it ‘for’ us
Instead, offer to stand beside us. Join us in the effort. Acknowledge what we’ve done and validate its worth. Help us think through it in a different way. Sit with us, bring us coffee, ask questions and be interested in what we’re doing.
Most of all, remind us of who God is and wants to be in our lives:
Sovereign over the details
Peaceful in the chaos
Intimate and private, dwelling within us
Able to answer our questions and manage our lives
Available for all the questions
Understanding of our nuances
Trustworthy with our dreams