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Imagine that you are out at a restaurant…

Imagine that you are out at a restaurant... 1

Your friend just left the table to use the facilities. Alone with your thoughts, your senses become alight with the sounds of clinking glasses and cutlery and the roaring hum of conversation.

Above the rolling cacophony, your ears become piqued, zeroing in on a singular voice whose tone is sharply flavored with biting anger and a hint of disgust. Although you aren’t able to fully hear the content of the argument, every so often, you catch a word or two.

“You can’t. Shouldn’t. Fault. How could? You are…I can’t… Won’t… Responsibility… Hate… Ashamed… Bad… Fair….It’s your… You didn’t.” 

You feel yourself getting smaller and smaller with every word as you contract and fold in upon yourself. This is an onslaught that you feel powerless to defend yourself from because you remember…

You remember being on the receiving end of such words, and you also remember being the giver. You remember what it feels like to hold power and powerlessness at the same time. And, because you remember so vividly, there is a part of you that starts to soften. 

There is a part of you that empathizes and even has compassion because you intimately know the pain and torment of what it feels like to be estranged from someone you love and the terror of losing that love. 

You know what it feels like not to feel safe and desperately seek shelter of any kind, even if that shelter’s defenses are coated in barbs and spikes. You know the breathlessness that comes with sweet union wrapped in your lover’s arms, as well as the stilted breathing of an empty house and even colder side of the bed.

Suddenly, you jerk awake. It is the dark of deep night. Your eyes dilate to adjust to the muted landscape tracing the faint outline of your bedside table and lamp. The curtains are billowing with a slight breeze flavored with fresh-cut grass, and the dank sweetness of dirt just rained on.

Your hands mindlessly seek towards your surroundings as if trying to grasp the difference between what is real and dream. You feel the warmth of where your body has been imprinted in slumber and the silky chill of where your body’s heat has failed to permeate. 

You take a moment allowing yourself to deeply inhale, feeling the way your breath traces inward, slowly expanding and filling places within you longing to be touched. You gently but firmly wrap your arms around yourself, allowing yourself to feel what it’s like to be truly held.

Relaxing into this holding, your body naturally and subtly begins to rock back and forth. Your breath comes more effortlessly in this place as your body continues to soften, tension melting.

You whisper, “I love you. You are safe. It’s going to be okay. I am not going anywhere. I’ve got you. I am so proud of you. You are doing such an amazing job. I will be with you every step of the way.”

“We are in this together. I will always be with you.”

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