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  • Writer's pictureLauren Morris

You can only help so much

There are some things I have always been. A trailblazer, rule breaker. maverick. Also someone who thrives when they are in the service of others. While I don't plan on changing these things about myself, there are times I need to remember that I can only help so much and I too need help from time to time.

Right now there are some bumps and bruises on helping others and making sure I'm also taking care of myself. When working with a team or performers, keeping them motivated, engaged, and excited is part of the process, however, they also want to do it because they know it helps them grow. For the past several weeks it's just felt as if I am dragging others along on my journey versus them being excited to collaborate by my side. That sucks. Really no other way to put it.

Because of these feelings, I've been a bit grumpy with those who really give a shit which is not fair at all to them or to me. Not being one for pouting and instead getting curious about my behavior and doing the work to course correct, grow, and learn, I have taken some action steps.

Real relationships can weather these storms.

One, apologize for my stupid foot in mouth syndrome. All any of us can do is be honest and when we fuck up, we fuck up and own it. The hope is that the person receiving the apology sees you mean it, has the type of relationship with you to accept and understand your humanity, and together move forward stronger than before.

This isn't just with friends or people who report to you, this is the same thing you do in any long term relationship. Relationships always require nurturing and attention for them to not just continue but to thrive.

Real relationships grow stronger not weaker in times of turbulence.

Two, why am I getting so shitty at one individual over another or at a group as a whole? The first part is an easy answer. People tend to have foot in mouth syndrome with those they feel they can trust the most. Think about your kids shitty behavior or even your shitty behavior with your siblings, family, spouse, or significant other. We know these people love us even with the baggage we bring and we feel safe.

So what I am focusing on is that my recent behavior highlights how much certain people have come to mean to me and how important their presence is in my life, how much I do trust them. So in addition to apologizing, it's letting them know how much I care.

Real relationships means both people care and know together they'll find their way through to the other side.

The group as a whole. That's just true frustration. Each is a unique and wonderful individual who mean well and bring joy to the world around them. It can't always be perfect and the group as a whole is out of tune and we need a tune up. I also need to ensure I'm taking care of myself which means a couple of different things because I'm an individual and a business owner.

I have my own artistic ambition and nearly 50 people look to me to ensure the theater remains a healthy, safe environment to grow, thrive, stay open, and bring business. It's a lot to carry around but it's something I knew was part of the package. Sure days like this can be hard but I love my community and am glad to be in service of them.

To minimize frustration and maximize our potential, I need to devise strategies. I can ask for help and I can also direct others what they need to be doing to help the group and themselves. Whether they do it, at the end of the day, well that's up to them. They too have to make the decision that meets their needs and it might lead to everyone being on the same page or even more difficult conversations and clarity of what's next and what's to come.

Real relationships means having tough conversations and knowing in the end everyone will be okay.

A curious lens, a willingness to fail, an openness to own mistakes, and the promise to do the best I know how in the moment is what will see me through the speed bumps. I can only help so much and that's going to be just fine!

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