don't be afraid to reach out

Marshall sat opposite me. He had a smooth round face. He had a confident air. He had stories. He had answers.

“I sense fear in you.”

“That's because I’m afraid.”

"Don’t listen to anybody’s advice. You're asking too many people for advice. Just sit with the question. You already know the answer. It’s within you. Stop asking, and sit. That way the answer will come.

I felt shame, like smouldering embers, settle upon my chest. Marshall had put me in my place. His words lugged, lurked and muzzled me for the next few days. It was all 'blank desertion'. 

I tried sitting but no answer arrived. Maybe I wasn’t sitting properly, I thought. Maybe I wasn't listening properly.


So I took a walk. Took a hike. Hiked a hill. They call it a mountain. But it’s really a hill. By the time I got to its summit, once I’d manoeuvred my way around the occasional deer, (I don’t really like the deer, they frighten me a bit, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to tell Marshall that) I had some clarity. I didn’t have answers, but I did have some clarity. More ease. I was clarity-cleansed.

Upon arriving back at the apartment I came across Marcus. His advice was somewhat more soothing than Marshall's.

Don’t be ashamed to need help. Like a soldier storming a wall, you have a mission to accomplish. And if you’ve been wounded and you need a comrade to pull you up? So what? 

We have a mission. It's in this life we've been given. It's a mission of pain, shame, fear, the whole bit. If you're wounded, reach out. But make sure you experience the felt sense of reaching out so you can feel another's felt sense of reaching out to you when needed. Then you'll be a compassionate comrade. Your pain will help serve your fellow soldier.

Don't just sit with it. Reach out.

Image, Austin Kehmeier

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