I may have been absent from my blog for the past two days, but the reason for my absence ended up enabling me to do something for myself and a friend this afternoon. I took a long overdue and very much-needed trip to visit some of my college roommates, and as always, it was time well spent. We have known each other for almost twenty-seven years, and over the years, we have celebrated one another’s marriages, births of children, professional successes, and personal achievements and supported one another through the deaths of parents, family discord, parenting challenges, and personal and professional disappointments. In my case, they have loved and accepted me unconditionally through my divorce and bouts of depression and anxiety, in addition to all of the other ups and downs in my life. We may not all live under the same roof like we once did, but we are bound together by our memories, experiences, and hearts. They have been among my greatest teachers, and their gifts and lessons served me well today.
I spent a quiet Sunday alone, getting my house in order, figuratively and literally. I set out to accomplish a number of things on my ‘To Do’ list, and as the day progressed, my list grew shorter and shorter. It felt very satisfying to accomplish both the big and small tasks, but nothing left me feeling more at peace than an unexpected situation this afternoon. When I was faced with it, thanks to the recent visit with my roommates that left me in a positive frame of mind and at peace with myself, I was able to allow myself to be vulnerable with a friend and to accept their vulnerability, as well.
I have a big heart that I wear on my sleeve. Sometimes, that quality serves me well, as it enables me to connect with others readily and allows me to be empathetic and understanding. Other times, it has betrayed me, as I have not always been selective enough in whom I entrust my big heart to and have gotten hurt terribly. It is an ongoing process for me to learn how to guard my heart, yet still allow myself to be vulnerable. The interaction with my friend this afternoon afforded me with the unexpected opportunity to practice striking a healthy balance, as I was able to speak from, and listen with, my heart, as we each chose to share some thoughts and feelings with one another about a number of topics.
At first, I was merely willing to listen to my friend and share words of support with them, as I always am willing to do. I know that these actions were appreciated, but when my friend asked me to share my own thoughts and feelings in response to what they had told me, I was at a loss for words. Part of me wanted to say what was on my mind, while another part of me wanted to remain silent, for fear of being hurt by their reaction. Lately, my heart has been bruised one too many times, so, being vulnerable has taken on a new level of apprehension for me. That said, I learned today that I can both follow and guard my heart, and I was able to listen and to say what needed to be said. When all was said and done, I think that we both benefitted from allowing ourselves and each other to be vulnerable, even if just for that moment.
Just one thing each day . . .
Categories: Just One Thing Each Day