Healthy Reconnection

I spent time with someone last night that I last saw about a year ago. Back then our relationship was complicated and a bit strange. I reached out to her a couple of weeks ago and asked if she could cut my hair for me, being the kind soul that she is, she of course said yes, even though it had been a year since we last saw each other and that was a somewhat strange situation. Our first two attempts at getting together to cut my hair failed. The first time was on my behalf and the second time was on her behalf, but the third time is the charm!

When I arrived at her place it was like no time had passed at all. Conversation was easy and effortless and our connection felt different, better, healthier than it had been before. There was safety and a sense of comfort between us. She told me everything that has been going on in her life during this past year, and I told her everything that has been going on in mine as well.

We gave each other space to be our authentic selves, to be vulnerable with one another, and to feel safe in doing so. We shared in laughter and each other’s heartache’s and struggles. There was authentic kindness, compassion, sympathy, empathy, and a genuine care for each other. We gave each other encouragement and support. It was easy and natural.

I will not tell her story, as it is not mine to tell, but there was a moment when she was telling me the past year of her life, where I was so overcome with excitement for her and a sense of pride for how far she has come in her journey. I could see how proud she was of herself. I don’t think there is anything I love more than when someone has a breakthrough in their life, when they have an “aha” moment, when a difficult lesson has finally been learned, when they can see how far they have come and how much they have grown, when they can see their value, their self-worth; it’s like leveling up in life. I saw all of this in her as she was sharing her year with me. Putting in the work to get there is a mother-fucker, but damnit, it’s worth it! I am so proud of her and excited for her. I can’t wait to see where her journey takes her next!

We talked about relationships, lessons learned, how necessary healthy boundaries are, and that while it is important to know what you want in a partner and relationship, it is equally, if not, more important to know what you will not accept/tolerate in a partner and relationship. (A future blog post on this).

We talked about my dad and him dying of lung cancer. As I was telling her everything from the day we found out until now, I could see in her eyes, the empathy she felt for what I (and my family) are going through. Her eyes were soft and kind and filled with compassion. She didn’t speak at all, she just sat and listened as I talked. When I was done, she looked at me, with such raw authenticity, and said, “I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m not going to pretend to know what you are going through. I’m not going to pretend to know what to say, because I don’t know what to say other than, I’m so sorry.” I found such comfort in her words. I don’t think I can explain it. Her words were just so real, honest, and simple, but had a big impact on me. She wasn’t trying to make me feel better, or fix anything, or ease my heartache, or change the subject. She allowed me to just be, to sit with it, to feel it, and for that to be ok.

It seems a year has changed us both. We’ve both gone through some pretty heavy shit over the last year. It has allowed us to grow in so many ways. We are definitely not the same people we were the last time we saw each other. I think because of the shit we’ve both gone through over the last year, it’s allowed us to connect on a deeper level. I very much look forward to seeing were this friendship goes. It is such a wonderful thing to have true authentic friendships, relationships, connections with people.

We ended our evening with a long comforting hug. She looked at me and she said, “call me anytime if you need to talk…or if you just want to sit in silence, that’s ok too.”

Thank you, my dear friend, for a wonderful night and reconnection (and my haircut), I appreciate you deeply!

Life: Entry 1 – Happiness

As of late, the fragility of life has been at the forefront of my mind. I’m not ready to delve into the reason behind that quite yet, so until then, I’m going to write about various aspects of life. I’m not sure how many entries I will write about life, but I’m starting here, with Entry 1 and it’s going to be about happiness.

For some time now I’ve thought about my life and whether or not there been periods of my life in which I was genuinely happy? Certainly I’ve had moments of happiness throughout my life, but have I ever had a stretch of time (weeks, months, years) when I was truly happy? In times when I’ve reflected on my life, in regards to happiness, I never seem to be able to come up with a significant stretch of time when I was truly happy. Yes, I have many memories of happy moments, but that’s it, happy moments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for all of those happy moments and memories, they are wonderful.

I’ve been thinking a lot about happiness in life over the last couple/few weeks. This time, I haven’t necessarily been thinking about my own happiness so much as I have been thinking of another’s happiness.

Tonight I was standing in my bathroom looking at myself in the mirror (this is a very uncomfortable thing for me to do. It’s hard for me to look myself in the eyes. I assume it’s due to shame and guilt from past trauma); so I’m looking myself in the eyes and thinking about another’s happiness, as well as my own, when this realization sort of came to me.

In order to be happy, we first must decide if we actually want to be happy. For some this may seem like a strange thought, right? I mean, who doesn’t want to be happy? Let me explain, as best I can…

If you have suffered prolonged trauma, especially at an early age in life, you probably struggle to find significant stretches of happiness in your life, much like myself. If you have ever and/or still do hold a belief about yourself that you are not good enough, or worthy enough, or loveable, or smart enough, or like you even matter…you likely struggle to find significant stretches of happiness in your life (side note: if you hold those beliefs about yourself, they aren’t true, you are good enough, worthy enough, loveable, smart enough, and you fucking matter!).

For those of us who have suffered prolonged trauma, it is hard for us to believe that we are even deserving of happiness in the first place. However, we still long for it, we hope for it, we want it, and we love to subconsciously self sabotage the hell out of any possibility of real happiness. True happiness sounds great, but for those of us with trauma filled lives, we have no idea how to handle real happiness. We are always waiting for the other shoe to drop. When we experience real happiness we start to convince ourselves that it’s too good to be true, it won’t last, it can’t last, somehow something is going to happen to fuck up this happiness. And so we become self-fulfilling prophecies and subconsciously sabotage our own damn happiness.

I think we often times tell ourselves that we want to be happy in life, but then our actions and decisions tend to counteract that (self-sabotage).

So, in order to be happy, we first must decide if we actually want to be happy, or maybe more accurately, if we are ready to be happy. Once we finally decide that we want and are ready to truly be happy in life, we then have to be courageous enough to accept happiness when it comes our way. We have to be willing to let it in, as terrifying as it might seem. As strong as the urge to run from it might feel, we have to be willing to embrace it. We have to start living in a way that allows and invites happiness into our lives. Because the truth of the matter is this, we do deserve happiness, we are worthy of happiness, our happiness does matter, we matter!

Life is fragile. It is temporary. That past is the past and nothing we do or say can change it; the future is not ours for the taking, it is not promised; all we have is here and now, this moment, that’s it. Life is so short and can be gone in an instant. We always think we have more time, and that is the biggest human misjudgment of all time. We have to start living like we are running out of time, because from the time we are born our time in this life starts ticking down, and none of us know when the time stops ticking; and then it’s too late. So, lean into fear, say the things that need saying, do the things that need doing, love the way you want to love, love who you want to love, take the chance, throw caution to the wind, risk it, do what makes you happy. This is it, this is your life, right here, right now, it’s yours. Be an active participant in creating your happiness; accept it, embrace it, allow it, invite it in, be happy in your own life, because life is too short for anything other than love and happiness.

With Love, Light, and Happiness!