Today, rather than spending the morning practicing with my bandmates, I sat and practiced with an old friend. As happens in many friendships, we were once quite close, and our connection has ebbed and flowed as our lives have brought us together and moved us apart. He’s been battling a life-threatening illness for a few years now, and when things took a turn for the worse a few months ago, he did something extraordinary. Feeling isolated and afraid, he sent a text to about twenty friends and family asking for help.
Today we sat while he received treatment, which gave us a few hours to connect and for me to come closer towards understanding what he has been experiencing.
I am a person who believes deeply that we are not meant to go it alone, that we are built for relationships, and in fact that our relationships are the most important things in our lives. When my friend reached out a few weeks ago, he gave me the opportunity to put my beliefs into action. He gave me the gift of letting me know he needed some care, and then he accepted it when offered.
As we were leaving the hospital today, I asked him how difficult it had been to send the text a few weeks earlier. “Really difficult,” was his response. He told me he went back and forth on it for a few days, struggling with his tendency to minimize and downplay the severity of things. Eventually he decided he needed to do it “for himself,” to break that old pattern and move forward. I’m so glad he did.
Today I sat and practiced with a friend, both of us moving away from a lone toward all one. Too often when we ask for help, we view ourselves as a burden, when the truth is we are offering a gift, the chance for another to give their care. Where might you give more care? Where might you take some, and do those in your circle know? Write.