i know some of the happiest people on earth - my friend Perfect Patty, for example. Any time you ask her how she is, she responds, "Perfect!" and she may or may not be, but she always always has a mischievous smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eye. And often, a tiara on her head. There is always fun afloat when Patty is nearby.
i know some of the saddest people on earth. Not to draw attention to themselves or to feel "pity important," but just sad. not always sad, but deeply sad, when sadness comes.
I fall somewhere in the middle. some of the time, i'm ready to rock with the Patty's of the world, or be the one starting trouble. sometimes, though, i fall into a black hole that has slippery walls and no bottom. i don't always know why. it just is. well, mostly i do know why, i suppose.
it isn't often that i reach out for help, preferring to just wade through it, knowing soon the clouds will clear, or the situation causing the dark clouds will be resolved. but last night. last night caught me by surprise. it tossed me and left me howling and sobbing, alone, in my house. with Henry. thank God for Henry. and as hard as it was - i reached out. and i was very surprised by the responses…or lack thereof. a friend in Florida texted that she'd pray. another elicited no response. none. i sent the same message in desperate attempts to just connect: I am in so much pain right now.
and an offer to pray, well, that is somewhat hollow…somewhat flip. if you know a person is in pain, reach them. somehow. call. text and ask if they need you to call. or something. just listen to them sob. no advice is needed. and usually none is wanted. just reach out and touch, like the commercial used to say. it' so so much more important than any other thing. perhaps this electronic world has taken that from us, that compassion.
one friend stood. a friend in much chaos & turmoil herself over a life change. offered words of balm.
and it was so hard for me to reach out, because i'm usually the one on the other side of the reach. but it was such a dark place and i needed light…a hand to grab mine and pull hard, or just hold on. the day was spent trying to smile over a family dinner while trying to recover from the night and trying not to think about getting through a first day of a new job tomorrow. so much spinning all at once. my last 2 days of "freedom" spent slaying a dragon.
Please…life is not facebook…you cannot click quickly and consider that reaching out. you cannot send a smiley face and consider it empathy or compassion. put the electronics down and remember how it felt when you sat in a dark hole and asked for help.