You can always improve your bench and relief pitching.
Even when I was just starting school, back when crayons were only six to a box and they were fat, I picked up everyone else's energy in the room. Any room. Of course I didn't know what to do with it or that I was even doing it but this made for some interesting, to be read, under appreciated behaviors on my part from my teachers. When Mrs. Gage, my kindergarten teacher ,would pour the liquid starch onto the large pieces of paper at each desk and then pour the paint so we could squish our chubby little digits into the paint I felt indescribable joy momentarily. I say momentarily because my focus would be pulled fairly quickly to Michelle or Curtis who was perhaps uncomfortable with getting their hands dirty or they were feeling a bit lost away from the warmth and comfort of home. I felt it was my opportunity to see if I could say something to make them feel differently. I wanted them to feel differently so their energy would feel differently so that I could go back to enjoying my painting! My Dad, a very quiet man all the years I was growing up did offer this to me..."Now, kiddo,you just take care of you and don't worry about the other kids." If I had been able to articulate what was going on for me I would have said.."Great advice Daddy, would you mind asking the other kids to stop emoting so loudly?"
As the years sped by at breakneck speed not much changed for me in this regard until fairly recently. A few years ago I came to the blessed realization that in many instances my Dad's advice was right on target. It is one thing to assist and do so with the best of intentions even. It is quite another matter to step in just moments before your intended recipient of assistance is able to have their AHA moment and thereby take the long held thorny pebble at of their own shoe and move forward more comfortably. The happy change in approach to assistance required a new strategy and as usual the Universe was only to happy to oblige with visual aids and humor as well. O.K., to be frank, my messages often come with no small measure of irony. Before I fling myself over the boat with life preserver in tow, I ask my inner guidance if my assistance is needed at this time. Often I am shown a vision of myself sitting on the proverbial bench waiting to be called in. It frustrates me and makes me chuckle at the same time. It also tells me what I need to know. I am also clearly nudged when my assistance in whatever form is best is called for.
It is important to understand that my desire to assist as I am sure it is for all of you, comes from a desire to be a part of the greater good. It also is self serving in the extreme for the joy that it brings to serve. I find myself truly grateful to able to capture the glimpses of me on the bench, to hear the whisperings to come off of the bench and even more for one more thing. I am blessed beyond measure when my dear friends want so desperately to intercede on my behalf to remove the thorny struggle from my sphere. A loved one's struggle and pain can be excruciating to witness when removing it seems to be as easy as plucking fruit from the vine. And yet, they wait for me. They show me such love and respect by benching themselves.
Honor your time on the bench. Wait to be called off the bench and never doubt for a moment the level of grace that you demonstrate by your willingness to assist and your willingness to wait for grace to descend for another.
And so it is.