I’ve always considered myself as someone who is alone in a crowd. My tendency is to isolate and scope out the environment before deciding on how to proceed. I considered it my strength, which makes sense since it was a survival instinct.
Throughout my life I strived for independence, despite many setbacks towards it. I didn’t want to be disappointed by others as I was so tired of people letting me down. I figured I’d meet my own needs and not have to rely on anyone. I also didn;t want to be considered a spoiled brat by family or others who would perceive me as such.
But what I am realizing is that the journey back to my genuine self cannot be done alone. I am so incredibly grateful for the people who are here with me in this space. Today I realized how my therapist has been mirroring to me what it looks like to be kind to myself. She is showing me what a nurturing parent looks like and I find myself finally able to use these skills a little more than before.I am grateful to her beyond words.
I am also grateful for my ACA group for providing a safe space to share, process, question and learn without judgement. They have also been with me as I go through this journey and have allowed to be with them as they go through theirs.
I am grateful to my friends who have dived into the uncomfortable places inside themselves and shared their experiences, pain, joy, and growth with me. They remind me of what is possible, point out the good in me that I don’t readily see, and show me that I am not alone.
I am grateful for my sangha for providing a place of learning and being present. I have leanred so much there, not only in the dharma talks, but during meditation, and access to other retreats.
I am grateful for every teacher I’ve come across weather on a pulpit, in a book, at a bus stop, or leading a group or retreat. I may not always agree but I always walk away with a greater conciousness.
I’m even grateful for my family members who, besides providing a space for me to recoup financially, have given me the space to distance myself from them even if they don’t understand why I need to be so distant. Even in the challenging times I have learned so much.
I am grateful for a job that allowed me to take 7 months off when I wasn’t able to be there. I am grateful for a supervisor who doesn’t need to know all the details of my life, and is working with me to help keep a modified schedule and checks in with me periodically to make sure I’m doing okay.
And I am grateful to myself for hanging in there with me and being open to everyone who makes up my newfound tribe. Although my family can’t be there for me completely, my new tribe has been able to pick up the slack when I felt I couldn’t go on any further and have taught me how to be there for myself.