It is not my default pattern to reach out when I am hurting or feeling lost and un-well.
Knowing this is helping me create new patterns, stronger responses and deeper relationships.
That old pattern of contraction, silence and retreat (and sometimes kick-back) has stuck for so many reasons – story, early experience, survival even.
The difference from now and ten years ago – five, even – is that I’m consciously aware of how that sticky sensation begins to feel in my body. It doesn’t exactly hurt any less, but being able to identify it gives me choices about how to consciously create new behaviors – like reaching out to someone I trust when I would usually just burrow and suffer it out.
Yet still – even as I’ve grown to know that one of the greatest gifts we can give to one another is to ask for what we need, I don’t always have the words to express what I need – reaching out and asking someone to let me lean on them is so unfamiliar I don’t even know how to begin. There are knots of not wanting to be a burden or disappointment that I am still unraveling, too. We all have our stuff…
The interesting part, though, is that my patterns are just outdated from my current felt truth. They no longer reflect who I have become and what I believe and know to be true. So the choice becomes about how to re-pattern, how to heal those tender places when I feel my cells contracting, retreating, hurting from old conditioning.
Like picking up the phone and just admitting that I don’t even know what I need; just beginning the conversation that will lead to a good friend reflecting back the truth that I already know, or the healing that I’m already doing, but just can’t see, because my eyes are looking ‘out there’, on guard.
Of course, part of this is about knowing who to reach out to, as well. For me, this is about who can hold the intimate pieces from a place as equally devoted to soulwork as I am. Sometimes it’s about who knows the story. Sometimes it’s about who can make me laugh. There are so many ways we are gifts to one another.
I’ve never been one for small talk, coddling, gossip or dwelling in drama unnecessarily – so this is not the type of exchange I tend to engage in with my sacred circle of support. My nature is to excavate the meaning of circumstances that ask us to grow, to feel the impact as fully as I’m able in that moment, and to keep my heart on truth, faith and love in the process.
Because I know I am strong enough to face whatever may come my way. I have a lifetime of resiliency work that has built that trust. Yet sometimes I need reminding of this – just like everyone I’ve ever cared for does, too.
As I’ve moved deep into my own practices, I yearn for the kind of support that isn’t out to fix or rescue me from the growing pains or tough questions – but to bear witness to my healing, to hold up a mirror and celebrate the process of life working through us all in ways we can only begin to imagine.
The kind of support I captured on the page above, in conversation with a friend – as I was trying to harmonize my compassion for others with my compassion for my self… important work for all caregivers and healers.
While the words on that page have multiple layers of meaning and metaphor, and only capture a fraction of what I received, it was really all about choosing trust in the unknown, and faith in our individual wisdom and strength to thrive.
I believe we are here to do so much more together than just survive and live out patterns of conditioned reaction. In our conscious commitment to create new patterns and responses, we become the pulse of vital love – a heartbeat of evolution and hope.
I felt icky and stuck for awhile yesterday, until I was reminded…
I never needed to be rescued or fixed or corrected.
And neither do you.
Sometimes we just need to be seen, to remember our truth is real and whole, so that we can take care of trusting ourselves and each other.
* This post is part of a daily celebration of Arts & Health month right here at Hali Karla Arts. Be sure to stop back for inspiration, giveaways, guest posts, more fun info about art & healing, and special announcements and offers. Or you can sign up for my mailing list, for occasional updates and exclusive offers.