A publishing outfit called Hopeful World sends me a positive note/story every week. I thought I'd share this one with you. We are so used to swallowing our words because we are concerned with making people feel "uncomfortable". How often have you been afraid to reach out because of the stigma attached to it? I grew up under the shadow of stuffing it down, shutting it off, denying bad emotions, refusing to ask for help. It's no way to live (happily). "Normal" is needing other people. When you're single, this can feel hard. You're no one's main priority. Nobody's committed to you. Still, there are people to be counted on if you just ask. Don't be afraid to reach out to them today. I'm going to try and do the same.
Excerpted from Hopeful World, June 26, 2013:
How to keep believing we're still connected when there's no word? Not a sound?
And how many times have I been the one responsible for the silence?
I don't know how to explain the litany of experiences I'd had before that tilt my wheel toward the exit ramp. I didn't know how to explain those I'd waited for who never showed. The fights I'd never had because it seemed easier -- more peaceful -- just to let things go. I didn't know how to say how different this was or how much trouble I was having getting used to it.
And then it occurred to me that perhaps some portion of that before had been unnecessary suffering, too. How many would have been so glad to have their feet held to the fire? How many would have been relieved to know I believed the very best of them, the way they trusted in the very best of me? How many would have come so quickly and immediately, despite the misunderstanding, if only I had called.
I've always erred on the side of taking care of myself, of exuding a particular kind of independence and then saying what did you expect when things didn't work out, and my needs (which seemed obvious to me) were not so obvious to someone else. Applying invisible rule books has been a particular kind of specialty, couched in the gentility (or passive aggressiveness) of never mind, I was completely fine anyway.
It's not pretty. And I'm deciding today that it has to stop.
Because there are so many with yes on the tip of their tongue. So many ready to greet each one of us. So many eager to be counted on, to be relied upon. So many who would be so, so sad at the thought that we're always happy to help, but never willing ourselves to call.
I'm on my way now for a do-over. To meet that sweet man. Plans synced, phones charged. And when I greet him I'll say, I'm so glad you're like this. I'm so glad you want to be counted on. I promise when it's time, I will always always call.
Don't let me be the only one today.
If this resonates at all, if you're spending way too much time being a good soldier, then join me and let someone you love know that you actually need them. And that you knew they were just the right person to call. And then thank them for being that way.