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Am I Afraid to Listen?

I saw the car parked at the end of my driveway before I heard the doorbell ring. It was my neighbor, from across the street, simply passing along some neighborly information. She made a comment about just backing into my driveway since she was headed out anyway. As I watched her walk back to her car, I understood.

It looked like every step hurt. She almost waddled. That was weeks ago. That scenario has been replaying in my head (and heart) ever since. I want to help her.

I’m a coach. I don’t like that word (I prefer Professional Muse – but that’s the subject for another day) and I have been coaching people long before the term even made it into our daily lexicon. The fact that I have accreditation as a Certified Holistic Health Coach just makes it more official.

I’ve chatted with her a few times at neighborhood gatherings, but other than that, I don’t know her very well. Sometimes that’s better. She is overweight, but I never noticed how much effort walking required. Maybe that’s more recent. In any case, she is way too young to walk like that.

My daily morning ritual includes prayer and meditation. My special space has windows that face her driveway. Yesterday I watched her move cars around and walk back and forth from her house a few times. I just sat there wondering what I could possibly say that wouldn’t insult her. Obviously that is the last thing I’d want. A wise friend suggested I make my offer and say that if she’d work with me, it would help me too. That IS true, I know I would learn as much from her as she would from me.

I’ve been contemplating that angle for a couple of weeks. I need courage.

My ritual includes reading from The Daily Word. And yesterday, after I watched her move all those cars, I opened my little book and the word was “Caregiver: I am God’s love in expression. Putting aside time and finding ways to give is also about making a heart-to-heart connection…This activity of giving and receiving creates a circle of love.” I’m listening.

But I’m about to start traveling a lot, so is it fair to say something now and offer to start in six weeks? Do I wait a couple more weeks so the start time could be closer? Or is it really none of my business and I should just remain quiet?

This morning, once again, I found myself staring at her house wondering what to say. Today’s word? “My Gifts: I express and share my unique gifts with the world. As I use my talents to help create a better world for all, I fulfill my purpose.” I hear You.

I need your opinion – Do I say something? What? When? I welcome your advice below. (Thank you!)


  • Jerry Helmker July 31, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Some questions for you:
    1) If you get involved with her, what is the worst that can happen? Can you live with that?
    2) If you don’t get involved with her, what is the worst that can happen? Can you live with that?
    3) What is the best that could happen? Could you live with her missing the opportunity because of your fear?
    4) Is this about her feelings or your fear? Look again and don’t be so quick to answer.
    5) How do you see people with a gift or talent that they don’t use? Does God see that?
    6) What example do you want to set for your sons, mentees, family?
    7) If you could make a difference in her life without her knowing it (touch her with your magic wand) would you do it? What is the difference?
    8) Switch roles. What would you want?

    My father was a master at helping me find my own answers by asking me tough questions.


    • Mair Hill August 1, 2017 at 9:25 am

      YOU are the master at the questions. As my mentor, you always did – and clearly continue to – ask me the tough questions. Thank you so much! I think the fear comes more from not wanting to hurt or insult her in any way. Some of my personal tenets are common courtesy and mutual respect, be kind and never (at least I try) say something behind someone’s back that I wouldn’t say to her/his face. That is true about this post. While I don’t think she even knows I write a blog, if someone sent this to her, I wouldn’t be ashamed. Still working through it.


  • Saige Doughty August 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    That’s a tough one. Many years ago, I had a friend who was extremely overweight. I too wanted to help her because she had a young daughter and I feared she would not see her grow up. I suggested she go to weight watchers as it has a good program. Unlike you, she was a friend, not a neighbor who you hardly know. She thanked me, but had no interest in going. We remained friends, but unfortunately, she died at a fairly young age because she didn’t take care of her body. I think you have to trust your instincts and your heart. Good luck!


    • Mair Hill August 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

      At least you had the courage to speak up. I have learned (and try to accept) you can’t help someone more than they want to be helped.


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