This week I've been nurturing a lot of people through life disasters and milestones...I've been keeping it all together so I can keep other people from falling apart...I've been worried about my family but listening to other people express angst over theirs...I've let a friend cry for five straight hours about her failing marriage without once mentioning my heart was aching a bit too...I have nodded along as coworkers gripped about bosses, deadlines, projects that couldn't be completed in time, but haven't told them I am dead-tired and overwhelmed from the stress of taking on the responsibilities of a coworker who recently left, that I too have something to moan about.
I've just been listening - listening to traumas big and small. Listening and advising and reflecting alongside, and being the rock and being the dependable one, and all the while needing a rock so bad.
While I love being reliable for my community, the need for someone to lean on is so great in me right now that I don't know if I can listen to one more life story without someone asking me as well, How are you?
Three simple words.
I need someone to want to know how I'm doing.
I'm overflowing with conflicting emotions...and hurt large and hurt small...and hopes and wishes...and the experience of missing and the desire for closeness...and never ending ellipses...
I need someone to hear my contradictions and let the space between us fill with how I'm doing.
I don't normally ask.
But last night my evening meditation told me: Know you have roots. Know you have branches. And I just needed tangible evidence that someone out there cares about how I am growing in this world. A moment of certainty where someone wonders out-loud: How are your roots? How are your branches? How are you?