One More Piece of Flying Debris
In a recent speech, celebrated author Brene Brown said when we are going through times of trial, and fighting shame, we need someone who will steadfastly walk through the muck and mire with us. I have always identified those people as “Friends who stay all the way to morning.” Brown went on to say we wrongly assume several friends will be available to travel through the dark night with us. The truth is we will be lucky to have one or two good souls who will stay with us all the way to morning.
Ironically, we tend to take these one or two fellow travelers for granted, while we go off chasing the approval and love of those who will never have the inclination to be truly available to us. I think of all the wonderful people who have shown care to me over the past several months. Many email me every couple of weeks. Others call regularly. Some have advice. Some just want to “check in.” But only one has been there with just the right words, day after day, night after night, whatever the time, whatever the season.
I was there when this friend struggled through a divorce almost 25 years ago. My friend has returned the loyalty. He flew out to Colorado on a moment’s notice. He calls every Monday evening, and again on the weekend. We often talk for hours. He is the soul mate who never lets go. His name is David.
David and I share Eastern Kentucky roots. We are both graduates of Kentucky Christian University. We both left the Appalachians for the Northeast. We both have known great joy and great suffering.
When we share a difficult story with the wrong person, Brene Brown says it “becomes one more piece of flying debris in a dangerous storm.” This is why we must be careful with whom we share our deepest selves. Some will not be able to hear the information because we have disappointed them by proving to be human. Some will be so disturbed by the cause of our shame that we must minister to them, instead of being comforted by them. Some will be quick to judge, with arrogant confidence. You must be cautious when sharing a difficult story. You must share it with someone who has earned the right to hear it. You must ask, “With whom am I in a relationship that can bear the weight of this story?”
For me, it was David. I am grateful for all the good souls who have checked in on me. But in the middle of the night, I know who I am going to call.