A simple phone call

June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

It’s a four-day weekend. Finally had time to rest, chill, putter, hang out with friends in the evening and listen to live music, and have lots of time alone. But yesterday morning, my delight turned to loneliness. It suddenly occurred to me: I don’t WANT to be alone! I don’t want to take my walk all by myself!

As usual, there was more than one possibility. I could: Stay home and read/do some schoolwork. Stay home and putter. Stay home and waste the day trying to convince myself to be ambitious and go out after all. Overcome my resistance and go for a walk by myself anyway. Or I could try to find company.

I chose the last option and called a friend. She was happy and relieved when I suggested we take a walk to the tibetan monastery. Turns out she was having a lousy day — felt overwhelmed by various tasks she should attend to but had procrastinated on for a few weeks. She had been in a rather depressed mood at least for a few days.

Half an hour later she was at the door. We left immediately, as it was already mid-afternoon. The weather was beautiful — sunny, clear blue sky and a light breeze, so it wasn’t too hot. We circled around the Stupa several times, each quiet in her own contemplation, then went to the meditation room and sat there for a while. I lost track of time.

We exchanged glances at some point and were both ready to leave. Both of us felt an inner peace, energy, and a sense of lightness as we walked away. During meditation I’d received two words which gave me an input for questions that have plagued me lately: clarity and responsibility — with regard to my behavior and the willingness to take responsibility for my actions.

We walked down the hill, stopped at an outdoor café on the way and sat in the sun, then headed back to my apartment. It was already early evening, so I invited her to stay for dinner.

She offered to help me prepare the meal, but it was so simple that there really wasn’t much she could do. Anyway, I prefer to cook alone. Instead she sat at the little table in my kitchen and we kept talking. At one point, she said there was something incredibly comforting about the sounds and fragrance of someone cooking.

We enjoyed our meal, talked a bit longer, and then she left. Both of us felt better than we had that morning! She left with a sense of what she would do the next day — and HOW she would get started. She has a few things to take care of, but through procrastination they had seemed to grow to the point of becoming impossible mountains. Through talking they had taken on more realistic proportions.

I also felt better, as there had been a few things on my mind as well which she’d helped me sort through. Before she left, she thanked me for putting up with her in such a state. I assured her that there was no element of “putting up” with her — I enjoyed her company. Then she said that next time she is feeling so down, she’ll give me a call. It’s exactly those times that she tends to withdraw, even though that’s especially when it would do her good to reach out and make contact.

And so I tell you this little story with a message or two. It is helpful and healing to pay attention to your own needs and take action to fulfill them. Then, in the process of reaching out, it could be that you do someone else a favor as well! When you’re in need, call a friend. It just might be that at that moment they need you as well, but hesitate to call because they feel like they would only drag you down or impose. And through such interactions comes the reminder: I’m not the only one. I’m not alone.

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Actually… The things I could do

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