Recently, I spent some time with a group of friends. It was early in our time together, so we were all just getting reconnected. One of our tribe has been going through a bit of a rough patch. This is unusual for her, because, in general, she is THE ROCK at the center of the Universe for many, many people.
In fact, even in her work, she is a Professional Rock. She gets paid – really, really well – to do that. To be the Rock.
But, as I said, she’s been having a bit of a rough patch, because some of the Ding Dongs that orbit around her have been behaving poorly, and they touch her life. And she can’t change that. So it’s just a bit tricky and hard and exhausting and sometimes, even, depressing.
As we were all nattering away, one of our other friends announced that our Rock friend should just “get used to” being pampered by us. To just get used to being slathered with gifts and such.
And my Rock friend said, “Nope. I’m fine. I don’t need a thing. I’m all in. I’ll figure this out. There are LOTS of people with greater needs than I. Help them instead.”
Which is, of course, how you would expect the Rock to respond. (And, by the way, she is right, which always complicates things, doesn’t it?)
Listening to this exchange, of course something popped out of my mouthy mouth: To the Rock: “You SUCK at receiving!”
And we all giggled. Because every one of us sort of sucks at receiving.
In general, each one of is The Rock. Our Rock-ness means we don’t receive. We give. We don’t yield. We provide shelter. We take the hit so others can get filled, be safe, rest, heal, etc.
It’s hard to bring a good Rock down, but it can be done. My personal experience is that slow but persistent erosion is a perfect strategy for shrinking rocks down to nothingness.
All that’s gotta happen is that it starts to rain.
At first, it’s just a subtle little spring shower in your life, it might even feel like a refreshing little retreat.
But then it rains again. And you barely get to dry off and another thunderstorm happens. And then, the big hurricane of some pile of crap rolls in. And you have the kids in the basement, and you’re making jokes so no one else gets scared, and then you’re cleaning all that up, but then another storm announces itself. And you are exhausted, and you are afraid, and you are weary. But you can’t stop. Because the torrential winds and rain and thunder just keep hammering home.
Nope. You can’t stop. Because you are the Rock and you are such a big and powerful Rock that you are providing shelter for many, many smaller geologic formations downstream. And if you go, they all go.
See what I mean?
That can happen to a Rock.
So my friend, the Rock, is coming off of a period like that. And my other friend, who is a little farther away from her own personal shit-storm was offering to help.
But, the Rock, being the Rock, balked just a little.
That wasn’t necessarily a bad choice. It IS true that there are lots of starving children in – well, everywhere. And it IS true that lots of people are in scarier financial straits. And it IS true that my friend has her health, her children, her business, etc.
But it’s ALSO true, that we each need to give.
Because giving reminds us that we have enough, we are enough, there is enough.
And, if none of us ever receives, the rest of us never get a chance to grow in selflessness.
And, as I repeatedly mention, it is our BROKEN places that connect us to each other.
When you are a Rock, it is easy to forget that. It is easy to feel isolated, because you think that you are out there all alone.
But you are not.
Because the base of your stony power is actually sitting on a bigger piece of land. And the only reason you are a rock is because erosion has created a mythical separation between you and the Rock sitting just over there.
That is right, love.
You are a ROCK because life has eroded the space between you and the Rock to the right.
But BEFORE that erosion, you were one.
And I humbly suggest that when the Rock to your right offers some help, you consider receiving it. Because that shared compassion erases the illusion of disconnection between us all.
P.S. If you’re usually the Rock in your circles, please “like” or “share” this post with others (links to Facebook, etc. below.)
Photo, Flickr, audreyjm529