auto pilot

image credit…. marina ambromovic

i have come to understand yet another layer of how i operate in my part of the world. maybe i knew this before, but with the latest turn in the road, my nature drifts yet again from the mists. i feel gratitude for this renewed awareness, but i would trade this gift for one of unknowing- sadly even if for only a short while. but the decades have rescinded my right to deny.

the previous paragraph seems so vague, but it is crystal clear to me. one of my best friends (and my sponsor of 7 years)  was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer this week. he underwent esophageal surgery a couple of years ago with the intention of eradicating an aggressive cancer which had him out of commission for several months. it seems the cellular anomalies have survived, relocated, and set up shop in another part of his body. the oncologist advised to get papers in order with a half year. 

his behavior has seemed somewhat erratic lately. i have come to understand that he has been getting sicker for awhile. he has been moody. he has withdrawn a bit. he has not seemed happy-probably due mostly to not feeling very well. as he has shared this news with me he has wavered between pushing me away and struggling to find words between breath drawing tears.  

he holds his right to his feelings close to his chest. he has partitioned himself from his family right now because their questions and their concerns are too loud for him now. he needs to distill his own position before he can be okay letting others in. i find myself considering my words and my intention with intensity, which is more reserved than i usually am.

i find i have a natural caregiver response to crisis. i think i developed this growing up with a single young parent who binge drank heavily. there were many crises that arose over the years and i found that parenting that parent and taking care of her drama was the quickest way not to disappear in it. this posture became second nature and continued with some of my besties in the 80’s when aids swept through our lives and still remains intact with me today in my work and in my search for validation.

i find myself reviewing this part of my nature right now. i want to be “there” for someone i love, but i don’t want to be on auto pilot- even though that’s where i always go first and that is the place i find myself now.  its hard to believe,  but i don’t really want this to be about me. i am working to make it about someone i care very much about. and how to remain available while our lives unfurl. 

You and I have been through many things.

I’ll hold on to your heart.

I wouldn’t cry for anything,

But don’t go tearing your life apart.

I have seen fear. I have seen faith.

Seen the look of anger on your face.

And if you want to talk about what will be,

Come and sit with me, and cry on my shoulder,

I’m a friend.

And if you want to talk about it anymore,

Lie here on the floor and cry on my shoulder,

Once again.

Cry on my shoulder, I’m a friend.

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