DEEPLY AWAKE COFFEE TALKS By Kathy Vik
I woke up this morning thinking brand new thoughts about relationships, and so, I would like to walk them around and see how healthy they are.
The idea that came to mind first thing this morning is one that I think we all have had, all of us have experienced it, and I think that people just haven’t put it to words, really.
I’ll use myself as the example.
There are moments at work, sometimes at home, sometimes other places, when I look at myself and what I am doing, or something I’ve just said, or some accomplishment I have just done, and I think, God, how I wish I had someone in my life who knew about this little struggle of mine, and who could celebrate this tiny moment I am having right now. And how delicious if I didn’t have to say a word, but that someone would just pop in and high-five me right now….
And it was this that filled me with longing sometimes, smack dab in the middle of a choir performance, or while merging onto I-25. A starry sort of longing hits, and, with it, a vague, pervasive sort of soul fatigue accompanies the pull for connection. And it is silly. Imagine it! A fully grown and competent 50+ person, longing to be told they folded that paper really, really good!
If I feel this, well, surely, I cannot be the only one here!
I mean, it comes down to things that are so simple, in the end. Sometimes, it feels like a form of grief, and therefore, it is physical, this longing that comes over me, to just be seen in my wonderfulness. Why doesn’t anyone comment on it? And if I am walking around feeling that, my guess is that my 80 year old patient whose body is broken, she probably feels a little lonely too. And so, I spread love, appreciation, and I see beauty, in my patients, and I comment on it, celebrate it, enjoy it.
And so, walking around the apartment this morning, reflecting on me at work, and then, me with others in the many other activities in my life, I began to wonder, is this sadness, this one sadness that has followed me since youth, is this something I can embrace this morning, and can I be tender enough to it for it to finally consent to be put to bed?
I mention this because I think it is this same mechanism which is operating when you’re with someone who is supposed to see/appreciate/love you, who does not. Good God, that is even worse than being alone and thinking, “Jeez, I wish someone had seen this and could love on me for it,” because sometimes we choose to hang around those who see us and just cannot find it in their hearts to approve of us. Just too far gone in recrimination and sadness, or maybe it’s a new thing and the cylinders aren’t all firing nice and even, but, there you are, thinking you’re the bee’s knees, and your companion is stuck on how much of a turd you were last Thursday.
It’s deeper than that, though, to be sure.
This morning, I began to wonder about a fix.
It dawned on me that what makes me the most lonely in this life is walking around not being able to share joy and laughter and jokes and thoughts. I realize with this big, expansive part of me, at times, comes complex and angular things, but that is simply part of the territory. But, the idea is that if it is the lack of recognition, the lack of communication and encouragement or acknowledgment that makes me sad, then I could give myself that.
I have always thought that it is not its most genuine, self acknowledgment, and that the brass ring is acknowledgment from others.
The problem with that is central, and where I want to go to end this thing.
It seems to me that the idea here is acknowledgment. And who is going to do it. And in relationship, I think often we expect the other to do the job of preener, that inner voice who is “supposed to be” praising and pointing out the good, we hand this job off.
The better, and deeper someone knows you, then, goes the thinking, the more profound the recognition, right?
And I am here to tell you, this is true. I am living proof of the curative power of love.
There is nothing quite like being seen naked, and being known as beautiful. Once that has happened, truly happened, then, I suppose it is not so much about its recapture as it is about quiet knowledge. To be known, and seen, and approved of, so deeply, this is a balm that makes self coaching possible. Prior to my introduction to it, being my own coach was a lot harder.
I think that the quality of love is tied to the quality of lovers’ recognition of each other, and recognition, in the end, comes down to willingness to be surprised, to be unlike the other and to still accept, still acknowledge, still adore.
I do have a stance of adoration toward others, and I think this is because, for all my talking, I find a lot within to adore. I don’t do it as actively or as loudly as I could, but it’s there. I think that’s why I hurt when I don’t feel it from others.
I like loving and I like connecting. I like missing the mark, and I really enjoy hitting the mark. I feel privileged to be connected with people whose hearts are beautiful and whose stories are rich. I am blessed, and I approve of it all.