Pencil Meets Candle: A Cautionary Tale
There’s a friend for a reason, or a friend for a season, or a friend for life. But what happens when Pencil meets up with Candle?
Pencil, straight and strong, is dazzled by Candle’s dancing flame – Candle is attracted to Pencil’s steadiness. It can seem like a match made in heaven – and sometimes it really is. So why is this a cautionary tale?
– An extroverted, bouncy parent gives birth to a quiet, threat sensitive child. In an attempt to get the child to respond, the parent leans in, gets too active, and the little one turns away.
– A therapist, confronted with a resistant client tries too hard, talks too much, all in an attempt to reach the client who remains reticent.
– A man, proud of his emotional reserve, falls in love with a dancing flame, but soon feels overwhelmed by her emotions and her attempt to get him to “open up.”
– A sibling with a great sense of adventure and an outgoing nature completely dominates a quieter sibling. Both sibs feel the loss of a true connection.
Can these relationships be saved? Should they be? Here is what happened in these four examples:
– The mother backed off and waited until the baby shyly interacted with her. Then she quietly responded.
– The client had the courage to ask the therapist not to talk so much. The therapist slowed down and the client opened up at his own pace.
– The man turned away and formed superficial relationships with a variety of people. The candle’s flame died down to an ember.
– The quieter sib sought protection from her family in distance and short visits.
Our cultural stories and myths suggest that love heals all things. Elsa is unfrozen with Anna’s help. The tin soldier finds his true love and melts, leaving only his heart in tact. Gerda saves Kai from the Ice Queen.
These stories can be very misleading – we need to love people as they are, not as projects. We can’t change people to be who we want them to be.
I hope you follow this week’s quotes that add more depth to this blog.