Recently, I was talking with a friend about an emotionally heavy topic and after they had finished speaking they were quiet for a moment before throwing out these words: “Thanks for dealing with me.”
I let the dull ache of what was said sit in my ear for a moment. Then, I told them to never say that. “That” being not the deep conversation, but the self-deprecating apology that came after.
I deal with a button that’s fallen off a sweater by sewing it back. I deal with the spaghetti I spilled on the counter by cleaning it up. I deal with cold winter nights by sleeping under an extra blanket.
I don’t “deal with” people in my life. I love them.
We talked for a bit longer about this idea of “dealing with.” And to my friend and readers of this post, I hope you recognize that “dealing with” isn’t appropriate language for you. We deal with minor inconveniences. We love people.
You aren’t a problem to be solved. You are a human to be loved.