This morning I woke up thinking about a far away friend going through a bad bit. She spoke of fear,and she spoke of feeling mistreated, and she spoke of love, and when she spoke her narrative reminded me of dark times of my own, in past relationships. She’s well-loved, and has many friends. I know there are days she doubts it. I hear her heartbreak, now, reflected in many inconsequential things. I remember mine.

Attachment is a tangled bit of nastiness. I held on, fearful, for so many years in two very long (bad) relationships, and later, a one nearly as vile as the first, that I had the limited strength and fragile-best-effort wisdom to walk away from before I’d exhausted 3 years. (I pause to acknowledge the progress implied there, without being overly hard on myself about the slow learning curve.) I’m very human, love matters so much – and it’s peculiarly difficult to sort out the professed-love-that-isn’t-love-at-all from Love.

I held on because I was afraid. I was afraid to “lose everything” – without actually defining with clarity what it was I thought I was actually holding onto. I apologized when I was victimized, hurt, injured, mistreated, manipulated, and “managed” through cruelty and the withholding of affection. I turned my anger on myself, believing that I had in some fashion “deserved” this treatment – I mean, hey, hadn’t I… something? Didn’t I do… something? No, it wasn’t ever about me, but it took a really long time to figure that out. I needed help with that, too. It was a grim and lonely journey through a lot of chaos and damage.

Rare is that good friend who will look another in the eye and gently say “please take care of yourself, I’m worried about your safety” and “no, actually, I don’t think you deserved that, and I don’t think it’s a given that because your partner says they love you that this gives them a free pass to be cruel, demanding, irrational, violent, mean, confrontational, deceitful, hateful, exploitative…” (or any of the many dozens of other ways human primates can be cruel to one another). Sometimes it’s hard to find the words. Other times we wonder “is it our place”? (It is.) Perhaps we’re not sure about the circumstances, so choose to “stay out of it” rather than be mistaken. Maybe we don’t think it’s “that bad”, or it mirrors our own circumstances and forces us to look to closely into the mirror. It matters that we give voice to our concerns, though; our hurting friends, frightened friends, isolated friends, hell – all our friends need our voices in their moment of darkness, need to know we care, and that they matter – to someone.

You matter. I hope you are reading this over your coffee, or your tea, and that you take just one moment to set aside the hurting and the fear, and accept this one thing, right now; this too will pass. It’s okay to let go of the attachment, and look your worst care scenario right in the face; your thoughts have no substance that you don’t give them. They are free for the taking, to enjoy when they delight us, to educate us about our suffering when they are less delightful. Let your fears unfold their educational narrative in your thoughts, and breathe. Trust your good heart. Take care of you – because you matter. If things are okay right now, take time to just sink into that moment, and enjoy being okay right now. Breathe. Relax. Sip your coffee (tea?). Take a moment for you. This moment. Now. The moment you’ve got – the only moment you’ve really got. Be present for it. (The way out is through.) 🙂

Thank you being a friend. Thank you for listening when I’ve needed to talk. Thank you for sharing your own heartfelt words in a moment of fear and pain, and connecting across miles and years through our common experience as human beings. Emotion and reason. It’s not either or, and can’t be. 😉 I hear you. Other friends hear you. You are heard. You are loved. ❤

One new day, approximately infinite possibilities.

One new day, approximately infinite possibilities.

Today is a good day to begin again. Today is a good day for a journey – a solo hike through life, if you will. There is no map. You’ll be your own cartographer. There will be obstacles, challenges, and life’s curriculum is a stern teacher on some icy mornings of the heart. You’ll probably make some bad choices along the way, or get caught out in emotional inclement weather without an umbrella. There may feel like there are more bad times than good – even when data, real data, would suggest it could be otherwise. It’s a worthy journey, nonetheless, and well… frankly… you have the choice to take it willfully or to drift, but you must make the journey to the conclusion that it offers, or choose another – but the journey is itself is not optional. (You do get to choose your gear.) Ready? It’s time to walk on, Friend. ❤