Lately, I’ve had several close friends going through BIG stuff. Break-ups, traumatic hospitalizations. As they process these experiences- feelings of sadness, fear, betrayal …the list goes on…emerge, spill over and out. And I’ve never felt closer to these friends as they’ve sat on my couch and sobbed and let the feelings come tumbling out. A few years ago, receiving or sharing this realness, this honesty would have scared me, realistically, wouldn’t have been possible for me. I was way too busy controlling and analyzing my emotions to feel them. I couldn’t have sat there and listened without interjecting about a way to fix this pain, about judgment. I wouldn’t have been able to hold them, caress their hair, and just sit with them and their emotions.
I’m so grateful I can now.
I don’t have to fix it, analyze it or shield myself from it. As friends, we can sit there and create a space for someone else to show up. About two months ago I was going through a rough patch and had a friend staying with me….after talking with her for a bit about how I was feeling I found myself wrapped in her arms, sobbing and spilling every dark feeling that was pouring through my body. I felt so seen, so safe and so loved. She told me that she loved me even more for sharing how I was feeling with her. I’ve spent years controlling what I showed people, hell, what I showed myself. The pretense of perfection, happy and I felt distant, an outsider observing because I was living in my head not my heart. I’ve learned that being messy, being true to what is for you is the foundation of friendship, of connection. Not control. I’m a recovering perfectionist, control freak and I’m loving letting go of the rope…well, sometimes. Other times I am freaked out, scared, full of doubt and insecurity. But when I surrender to what is, when I am curious and gentle with my emotions I feel more me, more grounded, more true than ever before.