I spent a week with one of my best friends who just happens to be an extremely empathetic sort of individual. Two more opposite humans The Universe could not have placed together. She and I.
But lessons. Everyone is a lesson.
As we rode the bus back to the airport Sunday post vacation, I pondered our relationship and all the talks we had over the course of the week. The advice we had given each other, the wisdom shared, the issues discussed — and it dawned on me — we could not solve each other’s riddles. At least not by trying to use our own respective tool sets on each other.
We are completely paradoxial personalities and while I would advise her to hold firm boundaries and tell people to ‘Fuck off” — that would never work for her because she is empathetic by nature and seeks to keep her heart open to the world. To put on her armour and cut herself off from the flow of emotions would starve her soul as surely as eating no food would starve her body.
On the other hand, I would never be comfortable walking around as open as she is. My warrior spirit demands I at least hold close the tools of battle — even when they are not actively raised in defense of my soul.
Vulnerability is her superpower — Badassery is mine.
But we compliment each other and exist in a yin/yang friendship which has spanned decades now. We teach each other by example and lean into each other when the world is too much to bear. We accept each other as is. She with her open heart and me with my shield and sword.
For when my heart is broken — she is a safe haven I go to. She wraps her arms around me and holds me safe. She floods me with a kindness and love that is so strong I can taste it. And when the world has hurt her, when her heart needs a warrior spirit to help her rally — to remind her of all the times she has survived — I am there. Battle ready — walking with her through the swamps and mine fields, willing to be witness to her life.
Both of us — Aged Wise She Tigeress. Stripes fully formed. Comfortable in our own skins and living our lives on our terms. The Universe brought us together to learn, to heal, and to care for each other.
The first lesson learned was ‘Respect For The Sister’ who is your complete opposite.
Wisdom to accept unconditionally someone you love is a gift. To see someone as they are — their Real Self — and love them, to seek not to change them, or to fight their battles for them is the purest form of said gift. It is only when you see someone — all of someone — can you love with complete acceptance and put your own agenda and needs aside.
May you be blessed in your life to find people who not only see — but also celebrate your stripes with you.