I sit on the surface each day to the next, not always
going to that deep level if I can help it.
I would have to say, dipping in for a moment,
there has got to be
more to this—and just what is it—and why
Do we all keep grasping for more?
I think in the end it could be said,
we all wanted the same.
We all wanted to be lights.
We all just want to be seen.
No matter the length we’re to shine,
in that time we all yearn to be known.
So I see you, my star, just as you are.
From hope is a traveler
I can relate to not always wanting to go to the deep level. There are days when I know it is most what I need to do, but I doubt my courage and ability to be with the pain or sadness that often whispers to be heard. I do want to be seen. I do want to be heard. But before I can hold that expectation on anyone else, I have to hold myself in that space of accountability. I have to see me. I have to hear me. I have to honor the kaleidoscope of me if I want anyone else to. I have to accept that who I am can be overwhelming and not received openly.
In what I have come to call the Great Flood of 2008 (when my basement became a large swimming pool due to the storms and power outages), I received an incredibly valuable lesson. I was with my family in Wisconsin Dells, celebrating my mom’s birthday, when I first got news of the power being out and water coming in the basement. I told my mom first and then pulled myself together to tell the rest of my family. My sister was intense. And I got defensive and angry. It was ugly. I spent a lot of time with that event because it tore me apart. I was so hurt and took her intensity very personally, as though she was judging me for the choices I made in regards to my house. Through my work, I was able to see that her intensity was reflective of deep love for me and her own way to protect herself from feeling the hurt caused by watching me struggle with the chaos at my house. My ability to see that in her allowed me to see that I operate very similarly. The more deeply I love and care, the more intense I can be…which can be difficult to receive and overwhelming. As much as I work to balance this within me, it is still in progress. I am a passionate individual. I simply need to learn to balance the passion.
Part of the intensity does come from a place of not knowing how else to let someone else see the depth of my love, care and concern. I find me wanting to make up for all of the other times that I missed the opportunity to let someone else know that I care or that I’m grateful for their presence in my life. I want my love to be able to heal all of the pain and hurt. I want my love to be a security blanket for them to be wrapped up in. I want my love to be a sacred, safe haven for respite. In my zeal, it becomes too much for most people. And then the struggle with not taking it personally. The picture that keeps coming to mind is my yellow lab, Wolfgang. This whole concept is demonstrated daily with him. He wants nothing more than to be sure I know how much he loves me. His zeal (even in his old age!) can be overwhelming sometimes and I can get impatient him. Wolfgang not only wants to show me how much he loves me, but everyone else who comes into our home. So essentially, I am a human form of a yellow lab!
The other element I struggle with is being able to use humor or playfulness to diffuse the intensity of the struggle I am witnessing. I can use humor or playfulness regularly, but not so much when I see someone hurting, struggling or in pain. It is not part of my ‘emergency toolbox’. I would like to be able to use my wit to diffuse and bring balance, but it feels so awkward and counterintuitive to me. My initial response is to love. Which is all good…until it becomes too much to be received.
Not only do I want to be seen, but I long to allow my light to shine on others so they, too, can see themselves. I’m not perfect. But embracing the imperfection is definitely something I can do. Accept. Allow. Be aware.
“So I see you, my star, just as you are.”