People Love You

I was talking to one of my heroes at Landmark Worldwide today on the phone.  Her name is Helen.

I was telling her that I want to go to the Year End Vacation and the Conference for Global Transformation (two advanced trips offered by Landmark Worldwide), but that I was afraid that I would be all by myself there.  Why go to all the expense and time travelling to be alone?  I can do that at home for free.

“That’s ridiculous,” Helen said.  “Why would you think that?”

Good question, I thought.  I guess it’s my brain remembering how I played alone in kindergarten.  I remember flipping over the metal bar over and over, all by myself.  I don’t remember playing with the other kids at all.  How interesting.

“I don’t think anyone wants to play with me,”  I said, like a five year old.

“Well, you tell that little girl that she’s a grown up now.  People love her.  She’s fun and people want to be around her.”  Helen said.

“Really?  I can just do that?”  I asked.  “Tell that little girl that she’s got it wrong?”

“Of course,”  Helen said.  “People really do love you.  That story you live inside of is just bull- oney.”

“Wow.  That is so much more fun than my world,”  I said.  “How cool.”

I was getting groceries out of my car.  I grabbed a couple more bags and headed towards my cottage.

“And I love what you said to me the last time I was worried that no one liked me.”

“What was that?”  she asked.

“That if someone doesn’t like you, it’s not a problem, because eventually they will.  I loved that.  I’m always so worried about that. It’s ridiculous.”

“Yes,”  she said.  We talked some more and hung up smiling.

And I just remembered another Helenism:  “Don’t worry.  It’s a waste of time.  AND, your face looks ugly cause it’s all scrunched up.”

That one always makes me smile.  Because it’s true.  And worrying is just a bad habit for me.   Most of what we worry about never even happens.

I am very grateful to have people in my life like Helen.  They remind me of who the world thinks I am, instead of the horrible stuff that my brain keeps telling me I am.

Thank you for calling me today, Helen.  You are a gift.


Sharing is the Pathway to Freedom

I picked up a couple of friends from the ferry today.  I was looking forward to seeing them.

“I need to tell you about my mother,”  Lisa said as she went into the back room to put on her bathing suit.

“Ok,” I said.  “I’m all ears.”  Lisa had listened to me through a painful relationship a few years ago, and I was happy to return the favor.

We situated ourselves outside on my deck. The sun was shining and the breeze was wonderful.  It wasn’t too hot.  It was the perfect temperature.

“My mother is driving me crazy.  She calls me all the time,”  she began.

Lisa poured her heart out.  Her father died a few years ago and her mother is now alone.  She resents her father for spoiling her mother, her mother for being helpless, and her siblings for being obnoxious and leaving the burden on her.

“I’m sorry for dumping my drama on you,” she said at one point.

“You’re not,” Valerie and I both said.  “Keep going.”

And she went on.  And on and on.  She cried.  And she ended up saying she felt like a terrible person for feeling this way.

“It’s completely understandable,”  Valerie and I both said.

“The big questions,”  I said.  “Can you forgive your mother?  And can you forgive yourself?”

She did.  And by the end she felt better, even though the situation is still the same.

Because she got to get it out.  And be heard without judgement.

And she felt free.  And all we had to do was listen.

And I learned that listening that way is like a vacation.  I don’t have to fix anything or say anything.  I can just get it.  I can relax.

And, the other person feels better having gotten out what’s bothering then, and then has room to create something new.

Lisa obviously loves her family, but when all she could feel was resentment and anger, it was hard to show it.

Not that she’s “purged,” she can be free to enjoy them again.

We went on to have a great day on the deck, and Lisa went home way happier then when she came.

And I say, “Sharing is the pathway to freedom.”