Encounters that transpired without a plan or a schedule or a carefully slated calendar appointment.
And other connections that were seemingly preordained, starting as inklings—small seeds that were tended to until they morphed into something else entirely. Because there was a willingness and a wanting, a determination to allow the scars that have been hidden for so long to be exposed to the light.
There was growth and an inclination to be all in, on all sides, in ways that were needed, even before they could clearly be articulated.
I honor the genuine spirits that have forced me to speak up and speak out when the silence continued to beckon.
I am appreciative of the gentle pushes to say the words that were aching inside of me, begging for a release. There have emerged these glorious souls I did not know I needed in my life, until they were there when others could not be or decided it was too much for them to handle.
These generous spirits stepped up not to fill a gap or serve as a replacement, but to offer themselves with outstretched arms and calming words.
They unknowingly (and often unwittingly) have etched themselves on my heart—sometimes with their words, but more often just with a silent, yet persistent, presence. Continuously offering to hear me and see what has been aching within me, across the miles and the memories.
I have the utmost gratitude for the compassionate souls who have seen my sloppy tears and heard me choking back sobs and still stood beside me, willing to embrace the mess and the hurt. Unafraid of the broken and tattered bits that so often compose who I am.
Despite my own fears, I have found genuine confidantes who have refused to leave me feeling exposed or unfixable.
Over the past year, I have been guided by lighthouses when the shores have become craggy and the waters have been tumultuous.
I have been buoyed by strong swimmers when the fear of drowning has engulfed me.
I have been embraced from across the country, and the world, by words and messages and small gestures of kindness that have made my heart soar. I have attempted to leave my loneliness by the wayside and absorb the love and empathy that has been offered.
While these encounters could be considered fortuitous, they may indeed be proof that sometimes the greatest connections are forged in what initially appear to be the bleakest of times.
I choose to believe that some days, if you are willing to take a chance and allow your vulnerabilities to be seen, you just might receive exactly what it is you need.
Photo: Lauren Treece/Flickr
Jill P. Dabrowski is an empathetic introvert who feels too much and sleeps too little, but is rather accustomed to the imbalance. She lives for the pause between the inhale and the exhale and has a tendency to become enamored with people who make her heart come alive. She is rather accustomed to chaos but still constantly craves calm. Jill spends much of her time trying to keep up with her progeny—twin ninja monkeys and a mini Dalai Lama—as they come into themselves. Her greatest hope is that she can offer them the love and support they deserve as they carve their own space in the world. She runs and writes and meditates, yet still tries to find time to wish on dandelions and falling stars as she strikes random yoga poses. She is actively working to become more comfortable in her skin, scars and all. Jill has written for Rebelle Society, Some Talk of You & Me, and The Tattooed Buddha. You can follow her musings and mutterings on Facebook and on Instagram.