Jun 23, 2011

roller coasters and rock walls

My beautiful rock wall, built by a friend, draped in flox given as gifts, held together by weeds and wild flowers...a metaphor for life ? 

Despite beautiful weather day after day, despite the luscious rain last night that gave the gardens a deep drink,  despite fun community projects, despite creative work - despite all this - my world continues to go up and down. In a good place one minute, not so much the next.

Such is perhaps how it is. Or a reality of being in my fifties. Or perhaps a piece of the grieving journey. Whatever the case, the trick appears to be to find a way to accept and roll with those waves, one moment at a time.  And to notice what seems to help.

For me there are at least three things that support me getting to a more balanced place:
  • writing (the private kind, not this public blogging!), letting my words, emotions, questions flow out unbridled     
  • moving my body in some way - be that yoga, walking, swimming, cycling, dancing...just move! 
  • telling someone what's happening; being heard helps even if there are no specific answers
This last one appears to be the hardest for me to act on.  Not really sure why.  I know that being heard carries a lot of power (that's why I love what I do, which is primarily listening). As does the act of sharing your (my) vulnerability.  It's the combination of both together that creates a kind of shared power, a linked energy that I believe makes our world go round. It is the birthplace of relationship, of innovation, of our humanness.

I realize I like to listen, to help, to be leaned upon...but that I sometimes find it hard to know how to start a conversation about my own malaise. I convince myself that my friends are too busy or too burdened with their own stresses for me to bother them.  I tend to wait for them to invite me and that doesn't always happen.

But I know that these are just excuses on my part that keep me from reaching out, from being vulnerable, from showing all sides of my own humanness. I've been there for my friends...why wouldn't I want to give that friend an opportunity to be there for me?

Friendships, like flowering rock walls, require balance, including the balance of leaning and being leaned upon. And moments of connection, conversation (a mix of planned and unplanned flowers be they weed or not). And a heap of trust - that together you will negotiate the boundaries required as necessary.

What helps you navigate the waves, negotiate for the support you need?