One of the greatest lessons I have learned is to not take up space that is available. For most of my life I blustered into people’s lives as a force of nature. Take me or leave me you get what you get. I’ve tried to dial myself back just a click or two. Not remove myself but be stiller, calmer, more present.
A young lady in my life uses humor to defer and deflect the grief in her life. So much so you wouldn’t think she has endured tragedy, assault, or abandonment. With the exception that she moves fast and talks fast. Too fast for much human touch or interaction.
In the past week she began a very odd dance with me. She began to connect with me by choreographing my movements. She would place her hand on top of my arm and place it on her shoulder or pick my hand up and place my hand on her other hand. It was if I was a mannequin she was staging in and around her personal space.
Today I was saying good bye and she look to delay me by thinking of ways to continue our conversation. She once again put her hand on top of my arm and seemed to try to absent mindedly to rest her cheek on the back of my hand. Just as if a mother were to gently brush a child’s face.
These interactions are very brief and momentary. But the intentionality of this young woman seeking gentleness in a controlled manner speaks volumes to me. If I were to initiate this contact it most likely would be denied. But in trying to just be present and available I am blessed to see and be a part, I believe, of a little soul and heart healing.
We all need to connect to others. We all have the basic need of comfort and tenderness from human contact even when most of what we have known has been measured and brutal. I think our challenge in this world is to be generous in our love and to love others in their language not ours.