(Iconic eatery in Ithaca, NY-Moosewood Cafe)
Do you remember being a little kid, wanting to tie your shoes, button your shirt, brush your teeth or comb your hair on your own, as if that proved your independence and showed your mastery of those skills? If someone attempted to assist you, what were you likely to pronounce? “Do it myself!” If you were like me, that is. Fiercely independent at times, I wouldn’t ask for help, for fear of appearing inept or not particularly bright. Most of the adults in my life referred to me as ‘precocious,’ which was a clarion call that told me I needed to maintain that facade. At 54, not much has changed. I still am likely to do something on my own rather than seek support unless I REALLLLLLYYYY needed to. And even then, there is reluctance. Instead, I have reveled in being the ‘go to person’ for others, since it carries with it a of accomplishment and as a friend of mine says “I need to feel essential.” The downside to that is physical and emotional exhaustion at times ,being on call 24/7, sometimes to those in body as well as those in Spirit. Yes, I get messages from the other side when awake or in dreamland.
I was on a roadtrip today with my friend Ondreah, headed to Ithaca, New York to visit my friends Jody Kessler and Doug Shire who live in Eco-Village. We had been talking about life challenges and changes and she made a comment about my being ‘solitary’. I was puzzled at that description of myself since I am a social butterfly by inclination and practice and not shy or a loner in the slightest. I asked, “Do you mean that I am self sufficient?” She responded that I generally am a get it done kind of person, moving through emotions with little time to stop and evaluate, being in solution mode. At that moment, something occurred that clearly illustrated her point. I ripped a fingernail and asked her to reach behind me to extract my purse from the pile of stuff we had packed for the trip and then get my emery board for me. At the same time I was asking for her assistance, I was reaching back for it. She playfully swatted at my hand and then gave me the emery board. After polishing off the edges, I attempted to put it back in and again, laughing, she waved my hand away. How silly was that when I had asked her to help? I still wasn’t able to let go enough.
In the past several years, I have travelled alone to New Mexico, Texas, California and Canada, feeling little hesitation or trepidition. I saw it as an exciting adventure. I am equally fine with travelling companions. I have eaten in fancy restaurants solo and taken myself to the movies. And still, I don’t see myself as solitary. In recent months, I have spent more solo time; needing to decompress from work and general life stressors as well as healing after my mother’s death two years ago. I enjoy being in the company of friends and lovers.
What it may come down to is a need to be more expressive with the feelings that I hold pretty close to the vest, rather than erroneously believing that no one could hold space for the sometimes overwhelming tidal wave of grief over many losses throughout the years. How arrogant I feel at times.
It seems that the loud and clear message is about balance and allowing for the vulnerability that comes from asking for and being willing to receive support from a Universe all too willing to offer it in abundance.