A very dear friend of mine, someone who I feel I would stand in front of a bus for and WILL the bus to stop, keeps asking me to “let go.” Each time she says it to me, I soak myself with tears. I get soaked through layers of clothing. Layers of skin. Layers of history.
She is my friend. My tribe. We really would stop buses for each other. And with her, I stop breathing before I can find ways to start. With me, she too, crosses HUGE thresholds. A level of trust she experiences with only a very select few. “Let go” is her call to me. It is her deepest offering. Her prayer.
We are TRIBE.
I have lost my original tribe. So this one is deeply cherished. But as a result, I have become quite accustomed to fending for myself. Yet, when I reach out to my friend, she SHOWS UP.
I believe that to be the truest act of love we can offer each other. SHOWING UP. And doing so FULLY.
I have become accustomed to making decisions for myself. Without anyone intervening. It’s been the reality of my life for a VERY long time. But I am realizing there are many down sides to this (which, for those of you who have ample “back up,” and god bless you for it, and them, may not quite experience).
I have made many MAJOR LIFE decisions such as 3 hip surgeries and further medical testing for “other things,” purchasing real estate, executing and changing my WILL,... by myself.
I realize now that my dearest friend was cautioning me about my home construction and putting it off until I was fully recovered. Well, Wowzapalooza! She was RIGHT! SHE WAS. Who knew? She did. Because she is a designer. She KNOWS about this stuff. And my contractor was so casual about it. He said he’d take care of everything. And then the day before the construction was to begin, he told me EVERYTHING I HAD TO DO!!!!... The rules changed, my friend, the designer was right, and I was up shit’s creek. I made the decision alone without calling in “back-up” even though “back-up” had abundant input to share.
Now, guess what? What I really want to do is BACK UP!
But I need to step into this NOW no matter what this now presents.
I never thought I would agree to surgery. But when I began to notice that I could barely walk or sleep, surgery was becoming essential to my well-being. I see the process very differently now. To walk through pain in order to heal pain. To break myself apart in order to put myself back together, no matter how long the latter half would take. Taking this action (surgery) would be an act of self-love.
And it would require some “back up.”
Yet, I am not accustomed to having “back-up.”
I noticed and I am still noticing how hard it was and is for me to receive help from people. But there were times and continue to be ongoing moments when I have to lean in and ask.
I felt a little bit like I was in the dentist’s chair. I am NOT a Yogin when I go to the dentist. I don’t breathe, I “white knuckle” the arm rests, and I do not know how to surrender there. Yet, a lovely Yogin came to check on me one day and she told me how amazingly well she thought I was doing allowing others to find things for me in my kitchen as I directed them through visual memory without getting annoyed or frustrated and without trying to get up and do everything myself. This was a helpful reflection back to me.
But let me back up.
In the year 2000, to great success, Charles Busch’s play “The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” opened on Broadway. A play about a couple, Marjorie and Ira Taub. Marjorie, who is having a mid-life crisis, Ira, a doctor, and Frieda, Marjorie’s meddling 80- something year-old mother. Marjorie’s childhood friend, Lee, enters and disrupts their lives in every way possible. At one point, Frieda, takes a stand and tells Marjorie’s friend, Lee to BACK OFF and get out! And the family becomes an ARMY banning together as a united force in love and in action.
Marjorie had BACK-UP. An ARMY of “back-up.” And it healed her mid-life crisis. It healed her depression. Because she felt loved. Because her family SHOWED UP. It was in their actions.
I thought back to this play today because it was a beautifully poignant scene. It was a very funny play, but this scene slayed me. People showing up when it counts. An army of love.
I have a few people who are trying so hard to be that ARMY for me and I think what I need to do is LET THEM.
Stop “white knuckling.”
Because love is what is going to heal me.
And an army of love? An “army” from which I can call for “back-up?”
I think it’s time.
Maybe I'll go make that "call" now.
Maybe I'll go make that "call" now.
In gratitude for these blessings.