Won’t You Stay?

I live in a very transient area. People move here and move away all the time. It’s one of the most painful aspects of living here, especially for a person like me who clings to people like a barnacle. “Don’t leave me! Stay!” Except, the thing is, even if a person is physically present, it doesn’t mean they’re emotionally present, or that they’ll be emotionally present all the time. Well crap. What’s a person to do?

I’m going to pass on a secret: Be there for yourself. Counter to all the messages we’re being fed, the solution to fears of abandonment is not to find that one perfect person to spend the rest of our life with. The solution is to give that to ourselves. To say to myself, “Rebekah, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere, I’m not ever going anywhere. I’ll stay.” People, and pets for that matter, come into and out of our lives, but the two constant presences are ourselves and the Supreme. My spiritual teacher says God is our one true friend, our constant, forever companion. But how often are we nurturing these relationships? How often are we instead taking them for granted?

Won’t you stay? Oh, I have to stay for me? Oh, right.

One of the most powerful messages I’ve gleaned from being in recovery is that I’m in a relationship with my Higher Power. That God is not Santa Claus, rewarding me when I’m good and punishing me when I’m bad. And that just like any other relationship, we need to spend time together to improve it. We need to communicate with one another, to talk and to listen. It’s easy to neglect the relationship because it’s always there, to take it for granted, but I’m reminded again, it’s one of the most important relationships in my life.

The other most important relationship in my life is the one with me. Am I here for me? Am I taking care of me? Am I treating myself like a friend? Saying nice things to myself, encouraging myself, forgiving myself for mistakes? My inclination is to turn outward, to focus on outside relationships, other people, what they’re doing, what they’re saying, how they feel. My meditation practice, however, is about turning inward, asking instead what am I doing, what am I saying, how do I feel?

A few weeks ago I went to a group meditation and I’m the only one that showed up. I know, that sounds weird because if no one showed up then it was solo meditation, but the intention was to meditate with others. I felt so awkward, sitting in a space that belongs to a friend, meditating alone when usually I’m surrounded by others. But then the awkwardness faded as I felt the presence of my Higher Power, and the presence of me. Instead of being by myself, I was with myself. No longer did I feel alone because I had me and I had my Higher Power. It was one of the sweetest meditations I’ve experienced for awhile. So in answer to the question, “Won’t you stay?” the answer is yes, Rebekah, I will.

I dream of a world where we develop the relationships with ourselves and with the divine. A world where we feel the presence of us and something greater than us. A world where we remember we are never alone because we have our one true companion by our side.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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