“I’ve decided I’m going to paint. I’m going to set up a studio and just see what I can do.” Megan informs Mick in last weekend’s episode of Chesapeake Shores. As she makes this declaration, she anticipates a positive reaction from Mick. However, he hesitates for a moment and a shadow passes over his face before he replies with “Well, that’s great, Megan. I’m proud of you.” In the background, a grimace crosses Grandma Nell’s face.
The look of hurt on Mick’s face confused me. After all, in the previous episode, he encouraged Megan to find a new dream and to “do whatever she wanted to do.” I couldn’t quite figure out why Mick would be reluctant to wish her well. As I continued watching, I realized that the hesitancy in his voice comes from a place of hurt. Instead of asking advice or sharing a hope, Megan simply tells Mick what she is going to do. She doesn’t appear to need him to be a part of her journey.
Later in the episode, Nell tells Megan directly, “You need to get Mick to help you with the studio.” Megan argues that Mick is too busy. In fact, Mick has used that same argument with others in his family. He can’t play with his granddaughters because he has too much to handle. He has become a completely silent partner in business with Trace, as well. So silent, in fact, that Trace offers to buy out Mick’s share of the business.
While both Megan and Trace believe they are are helping Mick by relieving a burden and doing it themselves, they are missing the reason Mick has enjoyed being a part of their endeavors. As he sits with Abby at the end of this episode, Mick comes to a realization that he has been “so focused on trying to handle everything” himself that he has “forgotten what all of this is about.” At this point, he opens up to Abby and asks for her help with managing a few of the details he has let slip over recent weeks.
Admitting a need is difficult. For many, it feels like admitting a weakness or fault. In a world where we all do our utmost to present our best selves across multiple social media platforms, entering a one-on-one conversation and saying we cannot do something on our own is downright scary. Sacrificing our pride can be one of the hardest things we will ever do. You might be thinking, as Mick does, that “I’ve got it under control, but thanks.” But why? Why should we feel as though we must do it alone?
We were designed to need others. Each of us has been blessed with special gifts and talents. Often, we do not even know what others’ talents are until we ask. Just as Abby saw details in her father’s work that his own employees had missed, it is entirely possible that our friends and family will see something in our situation that we cannot see. Maybe their input can guide us in a way we never anticipated.
But it goes even deeper. We were not simply designed to need others’ help. We were designed with a need for companionship and connection. Our dreams are sweeter and more meaningful when we share them with others. At a time when Trace Riley’s relationship with his own father was in turmoil, Mick’s guidance and encouragement in opening The Bridge became a connection between the two men, a connection Trace needed. It is for that very reason that Nell tells Megan that she “needs to ask Mick” about opening an art studio. She sees that Megan is capable and can find just the right location on her own. She also sees that their growing relationship needs to be built on a deeper connection: shared dreams and goals.
Mick could continue to deal with the Dilpher case and run his business on his own, but he realizes what the ups and downs of life are really about: opportunity to create deeper relationships. As we embark on new adventures as Megan does, or forge a new path after a season of heartache like Abby does, our experiences will only be worthwhile if we have someone else to share them with us. Sure, it may be possible to accomplish the next steps entirely on our own so that we can prove to the world how capable we are. Is that what it is about? Take a deep breath. Think a minute. Maybe that task you are undertaking or that storm that surrounds you is meant for more.