I went to a yoga retreat recently. Out of the blue, 3 simple words were spoken that surprisingly started a tiny stream of tears to run past my cheeks.
I’ve got you.
I’ve reflected many times on that powerful phrase. For a long time I felt isolated. I felt like I was drowning in the middle of a large lake while people stood there watching like nothing was going on at all. It was a horrible dream I created for myself and a silly narrative I convinced myself to believe. I am dying here, sinking in my own destructive depression and no one even sees me. Those are the lies I fed to myself and boy did I welcome the wave of self pity. I reached out and grabbed it and pulled it around me like a blanket I swore I would never give up. I became comfortable there.
When I heard the words I’ve got you”, something opened up inside of me. All the pain and fear and disappointed poured out of me in the form of my tears. I let them fall. The numbness disappeared. “I’ve got you”. She said it again and I felt a jolt right to the heart. In that moment I felt the love in that room. I felt the shared pain and fear of the other people around me. I was not alone anymore. I felt them and we became one. We were one. The love was somehow magically palpable. I welcomed it. Someone had my back. I choked on the air rushing into my lungs. We were given an assignment to hug every single person in the room. 10 second, close, tight hugs. It terrified me. Wait! What? I don’t do hugs. No, I can’t. I thought of escaping to the bathroom but instead I stood there in my own fear. I am not one to express myself physically. I am not a hugger. It makes me uncomfortable and I do it out of some unspoken duty. Then I hugged and that stranger hugged back. I could feel our hearts beating against one another and I hugged even harder. It felt so good to feel held. I felt a sense of safety and protection that I almost forgot existed. I hugged and hugged and hugged until the time was up . The connection was beautiful and it changed me. I crave it now. I ache for the truth and courage I experienced when I reached beyond myself enough to tear down the barriers and feel the bond we had formed in that room. We saw the light in one another. We tasted each other’s pain and fear and we made the choice to trust someone we never saw three hours before. They were my people. My tribe.
I wasn’t used to someone having my back. It will take time for me to learn to trust anyone that much but I am working on it one day at a time. I didn’t let people love me. Why? I don’t know. Love scares the hell out of me. It puts me at risk and invites someone to disappoint and hurt me but I am willing to try. Sometimes we must step into our fear. We must allow it and honor it and stand in a place that makes us as uncomfortable as hell. It’s the only way to grow. It’s the only way to step out of the boundaries we create for ourselves.
Be the love. Feel the love. Pass it on. There is enough I promise.