Wednesday, March 6, 2013

We are all scared sometimes

Have you ever had one of those weeks? Where there seems to be an overwhelming theme from you and the people around you? 


That’s the word I’ve heard more than once this week, from more than one of my friends in various life trials. First, I just want to give kudos to my friends who are willing to acknowledge their fears out loud. Second, I’m grateful they are willing to share them with me. It’s not often in this world where it’s okay to really admit you are afraid. 

I recently saw two Ted talks, by Brene Brown. Both are about shame and vulnerability. I was so moved by the talks, I bought all three of her books instantly. I KNEW I needed more of that information. I’ve become enchanted with her words. In fact, the first book I read, I went through a second time to make sure I had copied all the quotes I wanted to. This woman moves me. 

My friend A texted me last night and said, “It’s hard to know what to say to people who are so thoughtful and sweet. These things you send me mean so much to me.” I told her thank you was enough, because it really is. There is something about people sharing their vulnerabilities with me that makes me feel utterly alive and human as well. Brene said it like this: 

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.” ~ The Gifts of Imperfection

I find it incredibly refreshing and honored to have people who are willing to text me and say “I’m scared.” As I write this I’m tearing up, thinking about what a gift that is. How grateful I am to have people in my life who trust me enough to tell me. Who I trust enough to write back and say “You know what? I am too.” 

I met up with a friend that I used to work with yesterday. We actually didn’t really talk much at work, but through facebook we found we had some mutual interests and decided to get breakfast. It was amazing. It’s funny how when you honor those connections in your life, they bring you even more than you would have realized at the time. You find people who are on similar paths as you and if you are open to share, you find a softer place to fall and be yourself. But mostly you just keep finding out that you are not alone.

Each of my friends struggles are incredibly different. They are all traumatizing and are causing  major upheaval in their lives. There are moves that are going to need to happen, new jobs, chemotherapy, breakups, and there is a lot of trusting in the universe that it will all work out in the end.

I don’t know that I ever have great advice for them, but one thing I’m learning to have more and more is empathy. I’m learning how to not only listen, but to hear. I’m learning that their situation really isn’t about me. So when they come to me with what is hurting my best bet is just to hear them. A lot of time I can say, “Oh I totally remember how that feels” But most of them I get to be there to acknowledge their feelings and that I think is better than all the advice in the world.

Somehow in this, I’m also learning to be kinder to myself. I’m learning that I’m not the only one that gets scared and freaked out about feelings. I’m not the only one that wants love and comfort. I’m not the only one that sometimes feels that the things I dream will never happen. We are all in this together and the more we can share with those kindrid spirits in our lives, the better off we may be. 

So, I’m scared too.  I’m forever grateful that I have friends with whom I can share that fear. I’m so glad they are willing to come to me and share theirs too. I'm glad we can all be in this together. It’s such a great place of comfort and rest. 

So thank you Universe, thank you for honoring that friendship and that space. Somehow just knowing that those things have been provided to me, make the unknown a little more easy to handle. 

p.s. As I was driving away after breakfast, this song wandered onto my Pandora play list. It’s an excellent little reminder to slow your roll and try and blow the worry off. After all, we only really have THIS moment. 


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