A Shared Agreement


The grain munching psychotherapists in the barn and I chewed on this concept over breakfast this morning. Theirs, not mine. My stomach was growling on just coffee.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. ~ Rumi

A Shared truth

My heart wept for two colleagues recently. One is still in the field. The other left her position and is currently doing something entirely different. Still, they have very similar challenges. The roads navigating life in these crazy times are unnervingly real with potholes and difficult terrain. And while their work lives and private lives are completely different what they do have is a ‘shared agreement for what is true’.

Both of them are climbing tall mountains. Because, if it weren’t tough enough already, they’re having to find their way through life in the midst of recently losing a loved one. They are climbing as they grieve. They are climbing as they mourn. They are holding hands with a shared truth.

A test 

I have a dear friend who has been in my life for many many years. We are moving along our aging path with different points of view than we had when we were young. I guess that’s not surprising. I watched my folks change the way they looked at the world over the years. However, for the first time since we’ve known each other, my friend and I find ourselves sitting on lily pads on different ponds. It’s not that we always saw eye to eye, but for the most part we had no stark differences. We are now clearly aware there are topics we won’t nudge up against so as not to cause a rumble. This is a first.

In the end

In spite of that, it is our truth that we fiercely treasure our history growing up. Our agreement is to hold tight to our love which rises above our differences. We try to speak from our heart most times and not from our brain.

True love conquers all obstacles, defies all storms and deepens its colors with the passage of time ~ unknown

Guardian of mercy

A woman I got to know during her time with us for hospice services was an angel to many disenfranchised elder pets. You know the type of pets. They are the old that find their way to shelters abruptly. Their person passes and family members can’t or won’t take them, so they get surrendered. Or, maybe it’s an elder person that must go into a nursing home and is not able to bring their beloved cat or dog. These old ones have their lives turned inside out. But a lot of people are looking to adopt the babies or youngsters and few want the old ones that are so close to leaving the world. This woman brought them home.

Each one would be in the center of her world and showered with love. Many came to her with chronic illnesses that she dutifully took care of, nursing them through infirmities. But they were old and she often had them for a relatively short time. The good part for the pets was that she found them at a time in their lives when they were so vulnerable. And, she was dedicated to their comfort in the last days of their lives.

Their last chapter

The hard part was when it was time for them to leave. No stone was left unturned and all methods were exhausted in an effort to keep them here a little longer. But when they had no choice but to make their crossing it was always such a deep shock. Each and every time was devastating for her because she was so sure she’d have them for years and years. That would be when she and I would agree to what was true. She had given them a beautiful home at the end of their lives when no one else would and they were deeply loved. But, even with that truth, she would grieve hard and long. She was finally consoled when she found the next one that needed love.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. ~ Anais Nin

Back in the barn

These days, moving forward at any speed feels like walking through quicksand. I’m trying to keep this concept of shared agreements of truth close to help me smooth out my edges. I’m trying to remember this for the times when my tolerance feels sandpaper gritty and razor edged. Turns out, a shared truth is a bridge to keeping my love present.

Sounds like a good notion. I’ll bring it up to the hay munchers in the morning. They always seem to have an opinion – and the last word.