Two of the most beautiful words–
No. Right now, in this moment right here, they are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WORDS EVER to hear from the mouth of another. Or from the keyboard of someone else.
About a week ago I shared a meme on Facebook about how you know you’re a Mama if you keep running the same load of laundry for three days because you keep forgetting to move it to the dryer.
I prefaced it with something like “I will neither confirm or deny. Ahem.” See? Even though I was saying THIS IS ME, THIS IS THE CRAZY I AM AND DO ON A REGULAR BASIS, I was leaving a little bit of doubt so maybe folks wouldn’t really know the CRAZY I am.
Yeah. Right. They knew.
It’s scary for me to share things like that. I like my mask. I like my doors and walls and staying put behind them. I joke about parading my crazy on the front porch, but other than some cobwebs that need sweeping up and some old Christmas greens that I should move to the fire pit pile, I really DON’T like to share my crazy that openly.
Still, I shared it because on rough weeks (okay, and maybe not so much ONLY the rough weeks), I’ve been guilty of this. It struck a chord with me. It made me laugh. I had to share it. Because I get it and because as I’m easing closer to the big five-o, I’m hopeful that with that decade I will find grace to be all the CRAZY that I am and not be so guilt-filled or lost or overwhelmed by it. That’s what I’m hoping for.
In the meantime, I’m leaking little bits of it here and there.
And you know what?
Folks responded. Folks I’m close to and folks who knew me when and folks from all over–they responded. You know what they said? Nary a one said, “Wow, Tara, get it together. That’s very wasteful. You are really wasting our natural resources, and one day your grandchildren can blame YOU for their water shortage. And high energy costs. YOU. I can’t even believe that you can’t remember to move a load of laundry over to the dryer before it sours. Really? I think I might have to unfriend you…..”
No. Not one.
The ones who responded were filled with grace. Most said those magic words:
Last night I wrote about Robert Pine being Chris Pine’s father, and how that discovery amazed me. I figured I was the last person on the planet to learn of this, and everyone else would think–“Okay, Tara, old news. Move along.” But they didn’t. Folks said, “Me too.” And I didn’t feel quite so out of the loop.
I’m rambling here. The thing I want you to take away from my true confessions here is that there is magic in the words “Me too.” Say them to someone. Listen to their story and when it resonates with you, when you find a kindred spirit, no matter how broken or crazy or silly the thing is, tell them. Let them know they are not alone. Tell them “me too” and watch their face change. Watch them smile or crumple in grateful tears. Let them know it’s not crazy to love the things they love or do the things they do or eat the things they eat. If you can own it, do. Tell them “Me too.” Shout it. (Well, okay, maybe not in every case, you don’t want to scare folks.) It’s good news to let someone know they aren’t alone. And some good news deserves to be loud and proud.
Here’s my last point, and I hope you will take this one to heart as well. If something resonates with you, yes, say “Me too.” That’s beautiful and powerful and healing. But when it DOES NOT resonate with you, when you have no idea what it’s like or how someone can feel/think/believe that way, don’t turn your back on that person. Don’t walk away, don’t yell “Not me” or take off to tell everyone else about what you just heard. Maybe you can’t say “Me too,” but there’s something else that is just as magical.
And the words, “It’s okay. I’m trying to understand. Tell me more.”
Powerful good magic that.
We don’t have to have all the things in common to be with another person. To be comforting. To lift them up. Sure the “me too” moments are wonderful and reassuring and really, really good.
But so are the “I’m listening, tell me more” moments. The quiet moments of just sitting in the ditch with someone who is there simply because she loves you. She might not get it, but she loves you so she’s there.
That’s good stuff too.
You think so?
Love to all.