Here’s what I know. Everybody needs somebody to talk to. Sometimes, just a good friend will do. Lunch anywhere serves me fine. Talking with someone, laughing, crying sometimes, or the general belly-aching session with a buddy is a good way to bring a good life into better perspective and a poorer one into a little better light.
But, on a deeper level, I think everyone needs someone to talk to about their hopes, their dreams, how they look, how they feel, what is true to them and what bedevils them. It ‘s important that that “someone” is not an editor or critic, however. Just a listener, who is rapt and more than trustworthy. Everyone needs a listener who doesn’t tell you to “Watch out”, or “Be careful of” unless absolutely necessary because they trust that you’ve all ready thought of those things. I have someone in my life who fills this role perfectly -- and it’s not my beloved Carl. It is my delightful thirty-year friend DeeAnn Huish. God has blessed you if you have this kind of person in your life. Just a side note -- it’s probably not your mother, but maybe it is if you’re lucky.
But even more subterranean, is having someone that you can talk to about your most fundamental questions. This is the most difficult to find. Do you have concerns that you have rolling around in the back of your brain about your religious beliefs? About disappointments that might be too difficult for your spouse or parents to hear about without some to “knock” it up against first? I’ve had secrets (smoking cigarettes being one) that nearly destroyed my relationship with my family because I felt such an urgency to hide them. I definitely needed someone to talk to during my early twenties.
Or you might have a child who needs someone to talk to. My father was a very wise man when he said “Everyone needs someone to talk to who isn’t family.” He sent me to a counselor at BYU in the early sixties when such things were not really accepted as being something healthy for regular people to do.
The best is to have someones (and that is plural) in your life that you can talk to, and generally we are talking here about different “specialists”, perhaps. But if you don’t, hire someone. If it’s not for you, but for your spouse or child, do not delay. Talking is important to most of us. It’s the way we think things through. I believe that’s why I have brothers, it’s why I have Carl, it’s why I have DeeAnn, why I have Ben, Brad, Julia, Wendy, Lorraine, Gloria. I know what I need and I surround myself with them. This is the counselor in me talking and this is free, no bill will be attached.
The picture above: Betty Leary and me -- Lifelong forever friends