One of my dearest and oldest friends called me last night. We’ve known each other a thousand years. We spoke about events that have unfolded in her life and family. My heart was opened in such a way that when we hung up I cried. My first and only thought to my fiance was that I wanted to fly and be with her. We are almost 3000 miles apart. I have responsibilities and so does she. But, the miles disappeared while we were on the phone. We know each other well enough to understand that all we need is a listening ear and an opened heart. This is our human desire. That’s all we require in moments of discomfort and pain. I cannot be there next to her to hold her hand, but I can be here to listen when her tears flow and her heart is fractured. I can be here to make her laugh even through the moments of feeling lost.
In my old life I could not handle emotions. I would lock up when I saw someone crying in front of me. I would always suggest that people release and cry…as long as it was not in my presence. But this was due to my own issues of control and holding tightly to a life that was a complete and utter facade. I was not living authentically. I was living a life of made up stories and pretending to be happy. I was constantly busy taken care of things, people, and I was the very last thing on my list of things to care for. I was running the universe of a martyr and didn’t even know it. Now when someone cries in my presence I feel honored and humbled for their spirit showing me them…and for allowing me to witness their humanness. I listen. I am able to be in that space without needing to run for cover because I, too, might break down. I cry at a drop of a hat now. It’s not just in movies or reading a novel. I cry at the sight of pain, love, injustice, and the many levels of spirituality I see around others.
We are made to run in packs like wolves. We have tribes and warriors in our lives. We gather in moments of weakness and pain. We rejoice in moments of joy and love. When one person is vulnerable another steps in. If you don’t have this then you need to find your tribe because you aren’t meant to be alone carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. We are all connected in this place by a thread of humanity through love. I’ve experienced that the more real and open I have become the more folks appear in my tribe group. It’s magnificent to feel the sense of unity even from thousands of miles away.
I have often said that we are the sum of our experiences. We are legends because of each triumph, failure, obstacle, success and connections with one another. Even monks who live in silence have a tribe. We are not meant to be alone in our grief. I have witnessed the love and support from total strangers and reading or listening to their stories allows me to experience life through a different lens. Humanity wants to be heard. We require the sharing of stories, the acknowledgment for our lives, and love without judgment through listening. This is who we are. There’s an urgency to be heard in a world that has turned to technology for connections. There’s an ache to be understood in a time that things are misinterpreted through text, emails, and posts. I am horrible with phone calls. I rather have a person in my presence. I still love handwritten letters and cards and personal emails. I love connecting with others through words. And, I do understand that it’s “old school” but this is a small legacy I can leave behind.
Find your tribe and be grateful for them. When we share among others we see that we are not alone in our stories. Everyone is experiencing something similar. Stopping ourselves from reaching out (because of fear, shame, and embarrassment) is an injustice to our spirits. Loneliness, sadness, despair, and so much more are compositions to our journeys but we can still reach out with our love and feel the comfort of another holding us up. You are not alone. You got this! I love you mucho.
“To find our tribe means finding people we can learn from, people who are better at some things than we are, people who have something to teach. We say we want it, but how many of us fear being a beginner more than loneliness and much more than being in the wrong crowd? There is a strange comfort, a sense of safety, to suffering and loneliness. To be happy, to find our family, we must be willing to let that go.” ~Vironika Tugaleva
“You are truly home only when you find your tribe” ~ Srividya Srinivasan