Lately, I have become even more acutely aware of the fragility of life and the tenuousness of what ties us to it. In my lifetime, I have said goodbye to my grandmothers, my husband and my parents, as well as a few friends. I have let go of relationships; romantic and otherwise. Some people have boomeranged back into my life and there has been healing between us. I am grateful for each connection that exists and treasure my friendships.
Tonight, while speaking on the phone with a dear sister-friend who has been in my life for something like 10 years, although it sometimes feels longer, she was telling me that when I act as if something is so, when she knows it isn’t, she wonders, “Where did my friend go?” What she meant was that when I pretend that everything in my life is hunky dory when she knows damn right well that I am full of it, she feels a separation between us. Good thing she has her x-ray goggles that can see right through the façade. It brought tears as I breathed in what she had to say. She reminded me that when I act as the go-to person in her life, and also, as she is well aware, in the lives of others, then I am depriving people of the opportunity to be there for me too.
The truth is, this fiercely independent woman needs her friends and family. She can’t go it alone. One of the things I have held back doing is telling people that I could benefit from being held by them instead of always being the one doing the holding. On Sunday, I was at Circle of Miracles which is one of the spiritual communities where I attend services. I had a wakeup call when I was greeted by my friend Doug. He is the official hugger at the door and I always love the energy exchange when I walk in. For the first time in a long time, I LET myself BE hugged, rather than being the one giving or exchanging. I realize how rarely I allow myself to be held in life. A scary, vulnerable place to be and I am asking for that now. Need to melt into the embrace. Willing to receive the love that people have to offer and to ask for it when I feel like I am running a quart low.
I am also learning to say what is in my heart, since I never know when I will have the chance again. If there is one thing the heart attack taught me is that it is that we are not promised another day. Grateful that I get to say what I need to say.