find the others…
March 17, 2013
Office Depot guy (big burly man): How are you today?
He said to me while I wandered the store aimlessly…
Me: I’m…(pause)….I’m alright.
I said with a pathetic half smile and a disheveled braid.
Office Depot guy: (belly laughs half for a hot second) Ummm, are you okay?
Me: (laughing back) No, not really…but I will be. But I think I am actually just a little bit better now…since you came back with that second run through and all, you know, after I told you the truth.
Surprisingly, this man did not appear to think I was bat-shit crazy.
Office Depot guy: Ohhhh good, sometimes that’s all it takes.
And in one instant…we were together…completely connected, this guy, for just a moment, was my community.
And the best part is, we may never see each other ever again.
And he has no idea that I have been crying for 2 days over having to move and from the outside looking in, it all seems kind of ridiculous to be so sad over moving 5 miles away…but from the inside looking out, there is a wave of reflection and grief because now I know what I am losing and how this place changed me…and how deep it runs inside of me.
I used to be a nomad of sorts, moving from place to place, setting up my shop of goodness for soul business. I offered an array of love and kindness, standing behind the counter dolling out the goods, then I hid and retreated when I was tired or had nothing left to share… but I rarely received, I am not sure I always even knew how to or knew I was even worthy.
I believed there was some kind of nobility in ultimately standing alone, that it exhibited some inner strength and honored some ancient familial legacy. I was verbally honest and occasionally vulnerable but had trouble taking the one last giant step…asking for help, or being seen in the one dark moment where rescue was sure to follow.
And it is a lot less dramatic than it sounds…it’s rather small and everyday actually…it was needing a ride for my kids to school, or a tiny bouquet of flowers left on a door, or one song sent my way, or one conversation (or 30) where one kind friend tells you the truth about yourself that you can’t see while kids run around and interrupt 57,000 times.
…and I was afraid of true community, because it meant my soul being all out there and others finding out just how much I do not have my shit together… and it meant I might need and depend on people, it meant that I might be rejected or that people might fail me, but it also meant that:
community carries us to the next place of learning, growing understanding
community shows us how pissed we are at each other when something just isn’t right among us
community asks us to hold space for each other when we can’t hold it ourselves
community tells us to try again, or have a do-over
community asks us to add yet another seat at the table, and makes sure everyone is there, to find the others
community requires that we look inside ourselves and own our own shit so we can love and build what we know it is meant to be
community reminds that we are better together, that we find relief in leaning in, and in turn our hearts swell with a great gratitude that keeps the circle going
community melts us, and is messier than we imagined or hoped
community calls us to do what love asks
….when it is joyful
….especially when it is hard.
and the truth is, we are all “the others”, wanting to be found ….and that community can take time to build and can also be as simple as just one moment, one exchange but it requires us to take a step outside of ourselves…sometimes that step is the easiest you’ll ever take, or like crossing a freakin’ marathon line and other times it feels like stepping off a cliff…but it doesn’t change that we have to do it, because we need each other and
…because we were never meant to stand alone. We are meant to find…and be found.