“Write down the names of 10 people you trust, and none of them can be family.” Those were the instructions in a recent meeting of a leadership group I’m in. And immediately my hyper-analytical mind went into overdrive.
‘What kind of trust? With a vulnerable story? With my animals? With my healthcare? As a spiritual teacher? With accurate world news? With career advice? With my finances? With important details at work? With my heart?
‘Someone to come with bail money if I need it? Someone to tell me the truth…about myself…about themselves? To borrow my car? To call if I need to borrow theirs? Someone to take me to the ER if I need to go? Or someone to come to the ER if I end up there?’
I’ve filled out a lot of medical forms recently – ones that require listing an Emergency Contact. As a single person with no current partner and no living parents, it’s always a quandary. I have an older brother that lives locally, so he’d be the natural choice. But you know…he’s busy, he travels a lot, etc.. Yes, if I’m at the end of life, I’d want him to be there, telling me jokes and recollecting old memories. But if I’m a bit banged up in the ER, no need to bother him. He wouldn’t call me – he’d call his wife. That’s the baggage I carry here – that other people have someone built-in to call. That I don’t. That I “should.” Ouch.
No, I don’t have one single person – but you know, I have a village. Because that’s what Life does, when we let it. It shows up and fills in.
To share a tough day with, over happy hour cocktails and apps there’s Kathy; to invite me on a trip when I found out an old boyfriend was getting married – Kristi; to take care of my furry children – Marcia; to supplement my good doctors’ care – Prem; for great spiritual counsel and growth – Cath & John; to help me get and stay unstuck – Lezlie and all the gals in our Accountability Group; for a weekly prayer partner – Lisa; to guide my finances – Brian; to handle my dad’s estate- Jay; to help finish my shows well – Dew, Max and Troy; to call with life’s ups and downs – Bets, Sherri, and Tammy.
And to show up in my driveway at 5:15am to drive me to an outpatient surgery center, wait with me, talk to the doctor for post-op info. while I was still zonked out, AND bring me breakfast and lunch as I waited on the anesthesia to wear off – sweet Sally. Nurturing and caring, without being too intrusive. Care and space – what a wonderful combination.
We’ve been friends for 30+ years, and she has showed up for me more times than I can count. Our lives are very different. We didn’t vote for the same person in that last presidential election. Even our faiths are a bit different. But there is a baseline of love and care underneath all of that. Genuine affection. A seeing of each other – as people. The messy humans that we are today, and that we will try to be better than tomorrow. Someone that we can each trust. I’d done the same for her once, and she is married. Her husband was out of town, her children busy with their young children.
I’m ready for ‘my person’ to show up, and for me to show up for him. But until then, and even after then, I so appreciate how Life has showed up for me in the form of all these beautiful helpers.
And I am especially grateful for learning to trust myself. The majority of these connections can be traced back to following my intuition – to join a group or a church, to take a certain job, to ask for help, to accept another’s offer for help, even just to stay in touch.
And this year has brought even more – I trusted the instinct to go to Mexico for a workshop with no one I knew, and Life provided a group of like-minded souls there that I’m staying in touch with. I trusted a could buy a new camera and learn how to use it on the trip, and Life provided me with a professional photographer for a roommate.
This is what Life does. You crack the door and the light pours in. You take a step and the ground appears. If you think back in your life, I’m sure you see it, too.
So, tell me, who do you trust?