Tonight two of my dearest friends gifted me not only with dinner but also with their presence.
Things have been rough lately, I have been down and these two have been supportive via email and phone, praying for me and sending me encouragement even while they were traveling rough roads of their own.
Tonight we got together face to face over salsa and chips. We laid out our troubles, discussed and vented. Most of all we listened to each other. No one tried to fix anything. We just sat, listened and loved each other. Being in their presence was healing for me. Sitting and being honest, saying aloud that I was tired, scared, feeling beaten down by life to people who I knew would not judge me helped so very much. Then I listened to them.
There is something holy in sharing our lives, our pain, our joy with one another. I have gotten to depend on these regular get-togethers as my touchstones. These two women work as therapists too, so they know what my job is like, they know what life is like, they know me; and they get me. I feel safe with them. I also know I can call them and they would drop everything and come running if I needed them. I would do the same for them given the chance.
Oddly we are all going through some tough times right now. Usually we laugh more and have crazy funny stories to share. Tonight was more somber, more serious. It felt like our relationship had gone to a deeper level. When one of them said I wasn't alone, for the first time in a long time, I actually felt and believed it. Intellectually I know I am not alone, but in my heart I have been lonely. Until tonight.
How do you pay love forward? I don't know, but given the chance, I want to pass on the gift I received tonight. A few hours of total, unconditional love and friendship, comfort food for a bruised soul.
Thanks girls, I love you both.