You know how it feels to have an old friend come back into your life?
One that you absolutely adore! You pick up right where you left off as though time never happened. Ok, so there’s the initial feeling of guilt when you realize you lost some time together, but that dissipates quickly from the joy that reuniting brings.
I’ve experienced this joy and love recently. An old friend has returned. I’ve missed her terribly.
The last time I saw her was sometime in 2008. I talked to her a few times in 2009 and 2010 but I couldn’t convince her to come back to stay. She had a journey she needed to take: one that the universe wasn’t going to let her get out of.
I actually don’t know the exact day that she left but as time wore on I could feel her absence.
My friend, you see, is full of joy, confidence and continued hope. She laughs easily and cries freely. She experiences life through open eyes and an open heart. There is nothing she can’t do. She loves fiercely with no strings attached. She is my muse, my compass and my sounding board. She is courageous and steadfast…willing to make the tough decisions.
She is the one who when we were kids, taught me how to throw myself off of diving boards, ledges, rooftops and balance beams through understanding how to trust, not only in others, but in my own abilities. Into our adulthood she held the space for my courage and kept fear at bay. She was there through every career move and every personal struggle. Around her I felt invincible. And I was.
Once I realized she was gone, I mourned her absence, and tried to replace the feelings she had instilled by adding other people into my life. Sometimes I chose poorly, and the stumbles kept coming. The self-doubt crept in causing paralysis. When I lost my job in 2011, I tried to summon her back. I needed her desperately. She seemed to have disappeared completely.
As I sat silently with my newly shattered self, it occurred to me how alone I felt. I had not experienced this feeling ever before. I needed to find a tribe to support me. Maybe she would be there with them. Like-minded. Like-hearted.
That had to be it! She had found a new tribe!
I searched in earnest wondering where I would fit in. It took me a year of small steps and small discoveries but eventually I found my new tribe: a handful of people who were on similar journeys. Questioning, praying, dreaming, healing. There were times when I wanted to quit…to hide away…to go it alone. But the inward pull of the group, holding the space for my search, for my journey, for my healing, was greater than my desire to flee.
And then it started to happen. I could hear her voice in the shadows, around corners and coming from other people’s messages. I could feel her presence near me in fleeting moments that were becoming more and more frequent. She began reconnecting with me little by little, although she hadn’t yet come home to stay; and the feelings of confidence, safety, clarity and determination began to feel real again.
Just as I can’t tell you the exact day that she left, I can’t tell you the exact day she returned.
Maybe because she moved back home in stages. I saw her fully though…just the other day.
It happened so quickly that it made me gasp.
I looked into the mirror and there she was smiling back at me. You see it’s easy to recognize her…she looks just like me…but with more light in her eyes and more joy in her heart.
Welcome home my friend. Welcome home my soul. It’s good to have you back.
Let my next season begin!
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