Good people

While we are born alone and die alone, having the support of others makes the journey better. And I say this as someone who loves a lot of time in her head and with herself.

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It is not always easy to find the people we need. Sometimes it seems easier to find company in the stories of people far away, the writings of dead people, ideas, etc.

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Sometimes what we need from people doesn’t come in the ways we expect it to be. We want intellectual intimacy but they offer loyalty and practical kindness. We want friends here but they are time zones away and yet send gifts and call faithfully. We want to be fully understood and they don’t understand us but they get us out of our heads and into our bodies. And maybe this is what we need and we don’t know it yet.

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I had a party after my doctoral convocation with people who had been part of my life in the past few years. Considering that it had been a very tough couple of years, looking around to see it all completed and to see the people who loved me was seeing it come full circle. Impromptu, my loved ones went around the table, talking about what I meant to them, amidst tears, and I was so surprised. I hadn’t realized that the little things I may have done in my busy life, just trying to get by and juggle it all, picking myself up on some hard days, stood out to them.

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I remembered some of the people that I had met because I needed to intentionally create a healthy social network for myself, while cutting some old ties. I remembered the people I met because I took a chance to reach out. I remembered some of the awkward first conversations and still being self-conscious as I got to know the strangers turned lifelong friends. I remembered how tiring it sometimes could be. I remembered some heartbreaks and how this made it all okay.

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What moved me was just how highly the people close to me thought of me. These were the people who had seen me more closely than others. They knew my flaws, they saw me cry, they saw me tired and sick, we had fought and argued, and yet they showered me with so much love. In their reflection I thought of myself as beautiful, capable, trustworthy, kind, all the good things I would like to be.

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No one person will ever meet all our needs just like we also cannot completely understand and get another. Some of the journey is still just ours to travel but the right people can accelerate our growth, success, healing, impact. I have seen how the right people bring me the breakthrough perspective I need, or a new strategy, or simply space to hold all my thoughts and feelings.

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It may take a few mistakes, some false starts, even some heart breaks but I think it is worth it to keep trying and to be that person for others the much we can.

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We are born alone and we die alone, true, but love carries us through.

I wrote a journal to support you (and myself) in courageously sharing our gifts. Consider getting it by clicking here. I hope you will find it valuable.
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