Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Reaching Out

It isn't easy reaching out when you are feeling down and out.

I have been fortunate. I lived within a family that sensed my neediness and came to me. I don't know exactly how that sixth sense works. Sometimes it is obvious. Other times it is nothing short of a miracle. But I learned from an early age ... that I am not alone in this world.

I have made friends as I walked through my life. Different friends for different stages. Most remained for only a 'season'. Some were there for a 'reason'. But I have been blessed with many 'lifetime' friends.

As it was with my family ... even within my friendships, I often didn't reach out in time of need. In fact, with my aversion to making phone calls I am not even sure if I reached out at any time ... except to answer a ringing phone (with a friend on the other end of the line).

My most longtime companion has been 'pen and paper'. I did a lot of processing and writing before I had words to formulate the feelings within. I reached out and wrote with ease. Always have. Probably always will.

I have had a gradual metamorphosis within the past handful of years. I have practised and have started to feel comfortable reaching out and initiating the process of inviting people into my life. I have learned to trust friendships enough to lean a little. And in the past few months, I have actually picked up the phone and dialed it ... when I needed a friend the most.

I have been rewarded at every turn. No one has let me down in my time of need.

But what if ....

What if I didn't have trusted family relationships as a firm foundation? Would I trust my friends so much?

What if I didn't make friends easily and cocooned myself into a life of quiet and solitude (which I very much enjoy)?

What if I was afraid to reach out when I needed people when I needed them the most?

What is the secret to creating a solid, trusted base of relationships? Does it start within? Or is it a gift that our parents teach and emulate so that we learn how to incorporate the give, the take, the trust and free flow of the people that come and go within our lives?

What if you wake up one day and find yourself all alone in the world, despite your best efforts? Where do you go from there???

My eyes have been opened within the past handful of days to people wandering through a transitional phase in their life that is not easy. Each and every story and situation is as unique and intricate as a snowflake. Yet I see a common denominator ... the need (but not necessarily the comfort) to reach out and lean. Just a little. Just for a while ...

I see so many different variables at play.

Sometimes one chooses not to reach out until they have a chance to process and deal with their thoughts and emotions.

Sometimes one is fearful to reach out in a time of need because it is something new and foreign to them. They are accustomed to people coming to them and leaning. It is not in their natural make-up to be the needy one.

Sometimes one is embarrassed and uncomfortable. There are some circumstances that we don't choose. We just find ourselves smack dab in the middle that nothing in our life prepared us for.

But what if ...

What if ... you needed someone. And there was no one there? What then?

I have no answers for that one. Suggestions and ideas perhaps? But no answers.

Our answers lie with us. We are fortunate when we find our way through life with a friend at our side and the ability to communicate and process our psychological 'growth' when life throws us a curve ball. My answer has always been to write. Others need to talk. Sometimes we just need to cry.

But to sequester ourselves into a life where we have no one? It happens.

And I simply don't know the answers. I am sorry ...

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