Saturday, May 03, 2008

On my previous entry, SacredTouch made the following comment:
To be free in the present moment with someone involves bearing all possible responses and reactions, moment by moment, including silence. To be there for someone, wherever there is, especially for someone in the depths of suicidal despair, requires patience above all, as well as a willingness to speak from the heart, about your own experience, in relation to the conversation (however minimal) that arises moment by moment out of the space you make for the encounter. Beyond this, I cannot think of what else to say, except to ask: are you prepared to face the realization of total freedom from your encounter - or your encounters?
This comment and closing question stayed with me for the better part of the day. I recognized the wisdom of his words and the true depth of his question. It is profound and in many ways conceptually, never mind verbally, ungraspable. I was still wrestling with the impact of my attempts to imagine my response to such a powerful expression of freedom when my cell phone rang. It was my sister. She'd been released from the hospital, cleared medically and mentally. We discussed many things, though the main theme was a complaint about strength. She had wanted to be admitted for 72 hours of psychiatric evaluation but was told it was not necessary. She was deemed to be a strong woman who was stable and no longer a danger to herself. Her voice broke, she did not understand how other could see strength in her where she felt only emptiness, exhaustion, and a profound sense of loss.

As I listened to her, I held in my mind the image of my sister as the woman I know she is and can be again: beautiful, compelling, vital, earthy, funny, raunchy, strong and free. And when I spoke to her, I spoke spontaneously, from my heart, and I surprised both of us.
I'd like to ask you to try to distinguish between energy and strength, and between exhaustion and loss.
You feel weak because you have exhausted your strength, not weak because you have lost your strength.
A body-builder is very strong, but there comes a point when he has exhausted his strength and does not have the energy to lift that barbell one more time.
He must rest and eat so the next day he can go back to lifting heavy weights.
Take a break, give yourself time to build you energy reserves back up, and you'll find that your strength will be there, too.
Apparently it was the right thing to say.



Anonymous SacredTouch said...

Be strong, be weak. Make time and space for both. Be worthy of both.

Thank you for sharing.

- SacredTouch

2:22 AM, May 03, 2008  

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