Friday, May 2, 2014

lessons from a parking lot encounter

we hadn't seen him in ages,
and there he was walkin' across the parking lot.
we recognized each other, parked so we could catch up, and piled outta the car.
there were hugs all around.
it had been a long time.
but it only took him a few minutes for him to bring up his not being able to read.

it's something he hasn't told many people.
but he told us.
ages ago.
i had offered to help teach him.
but it never happened.
i knew it was one of those things he'd need to do, not me.
and when he was ready, if he needed me, i certainly would be right there.

and there he was, talkin' about it.
it was the first time we weren't at his place of work,  where he could really talk.

he could not have been with more supportive people.
i love that about my sons.
there they are standing with another fella and they were just so kind and
thoughtful and caring with him. yeah, even vulnerable.
it takes some strength to be that way.
and those guys got it.

i'm hoping he makes one of the moves he can make to grab the learning.
but in the meantime, he sure gave me a ton of food for thought for me to do my own learning.

driving away i commented on how incredibly hard it had to be and how there
was a million things to get outta that conversation.

 'he needs to let someone in.' i said.

'maybe that's one of the main lessons.' my son replied.

i think he was right.

we need to learn to let people in. to let people see our weaknesses
and ask for help. ohmygosh, we so do.

i don't think i really did that until my divorce days.
then when i leaned, i leaned hard.
and i could see that there were benefits about that i couldn't have imagined.
it's hard tho.
hard to be that open when we're so vulnerable.

i think the other thing that's standing out in my head most right now
is the pretending that we all do. the pretending that we're just fine.
that we fit right in and we're not different.

we all do it some way.
and i could see the pain this must cause him.
and i thought of my own self.

i want to learn to live as real as i can.
and there's so many darn levels to that.
always more to go.

if we only could get that we're all completely different and yet so much the same,
and we get mixed up on that all the time.

and we are not less than because we see ourselves as different.

and this - that if we don't know something, it's not cause we're stupid,
it's cause we haven't learned yet.

take all this wrap it in a ball with all the other thoughts whirlin' around
from this encounter and you get a big ball of learning how to believe in
ourselves, accept ourselves, offer ourselves.

it feels so hard sometimes.
and yet, when i watch him standing there talking,
i see it really is an okay thing to just let people know who we are.


margy said...

Thanks for another wonderful, thought-provoking message! I think when I pretend to fit in and not need help,it's me wanting to be loved and accepted by others because I somehow won't allow me to love & accept myself - but that pretending just causes me more pain & anxiety because deep down I know it's a lie & am afraid to get caught & they'll see how 'different & weird' I am. So I need to keep on learning to just breathe - & love & accept myself (& am doing that small bit by bit with your many insights!)LOVE the "big ball of learning" - believe in myself, accept myself, offer myself myself - what a mantra!

terri st. cloud said...

margy, sounds like you're bein' really self-aware there. i think that's half the battle! and mantras! they do wonders! we can do the big ball of learning mantra! :)
by the way, i think you're pretty darn wonderful just like you are.

diane in ar said...

excellent message and really liked margy's comment too - we can work wonders if we try. . .