the ways others love us

open-hands

These days, (now weeks) that I am recouping from a concussion…oh how they are humbling me, bringing me to what is most important, softening me, and bringing me back into the lap of God…to rest, renew, and heal.  Over the last three weeks, with the dizziness and nausea, the excruciating headaches and being off balance (literally), I have been in awe of the kindness others have shown us:

~ Neighbors and friends near and far bringing us dinner.
~ A friend making luscious salt and sugar scrubs and massaging my legs and feet and head…for an hour and a half.
~ Prayers.
~ A friend writing to say that she is running for me today.
~ A neighbor saying even people in her prayer group have asked about me.
~ A grocery bag full of good things.
~ “Check-ins” ….”Lisa, let us care for you.”
~ Offerings of running to the grocery store for us.
~ The gentle presence of dear ones in our lives…just here.
~ Even friends of friends who have had concussions calling and giving their advice!

It was all so much for my heart that the other day, when a neighbor brought over dog food for us (we were watching my parents’ dog..it’s healing to have Blondie here…think “little white and golden cockier spaniel”), I started to tear up.

“I’m so humbled by such kindness,” I said.

Neighbor: “This is testament to how you all care so much for others.  It’s your time to receive.”

It stopped me in my tracks.  My heart was overwhelmed, humbled, full.  Brian and I have oriented our lives around “service” and “community.”  We care for others.  We jump in when someone needs something, we are about sharing our resources, and we offer our home and hands when our presence might lighten someone’s suffering.  It’s weaved into who we are and who we are as a family.  It has been conscious and intentional.  But it’s just a way of life.

We do it because this is how the Divine moves through us.  We do it because we intentionally live with our hearts and eyes open.  Not always.  Not in every moment.  But surely as a “posture” in life.

community

But when my neighbor said this, I reflected for a moment…

It’s not for thanks or accolades.  That kind of  “service” is surface deep — it trails off easily, it’s short term, it’s “when it’s convenient”, it’s when it’s EASY, it points back to the “giver” rather than the one who is suffering.  No, Brian and I are in to tending to others for the long haul…and in simple, everyday ways, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s noticed or not.

But when our neighbor stood there tearing up with me and reflecting our goodness, I saw before me the life we have created, the life we are living, and the life we are creating.
And I smiled. Deep from within my heart.
And, I praised the divine.
I bowed in gratitude to the divine — in service and humility.
And all that I could say in my heart was, “thank you.”

I thought about her words: “It’s your time to receive.” And another friend’s word: “Lisa, when you allow others to care for you, you give them the opportunity to do something for you…and that is a gift. They want to do something.”

How many times have I — have any of us — “not received”…because of pride, the need to “have it all together? Or because it was all too tender and we didn’t have the words and it felt too private to let someone in and be in that tender, vulnerable place???

Yet, this is how we love each other. We give. We receive. It ebbs and flows. There’s a season for both.

And here I am, totally humbled by the kindness of others.  Allowing others in.  Being vulnerable.  Being “not all together”. Being broken and admitting that to another. This is hhhhhhhhhard. And yet…this is how we love and learn to be loved.

I’m learning. I’m learning. Imperfectly and without words at times. But I’m learning.

~ What season are you in right now? To receive or to offer?

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. prewitt1970
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 21:56:29

    I like everything about this post!

    Reply

  2. Robyn Lee
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 01:21:05

    Yes Lisa ~ am still learning too – -after so long — you would think i’d have it down by now ~ love is about giving and receiving — ebb and flow – this is beautiful!!! xo Sending you big healing hugs, hope you are doing better and better ~ x RL

    Reply

    • Lisa A. McCrohan
      Feb 21, 2013 @ 08:58:19

      Thinking of you, Robyn. I’ve thought a LOT about you in the last few weeks…you and your photography and writing — how it supports your healing. I have been doing a little bit of art and creative writing and it has been soooo soothing to my brain and nervous system. Love to you, Lisa

      Reply

  3. Brenda Marroy
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 15:19:33

    You are so incredibly beautiful and I’m grateful we found each other in this lifetime. Thank you for being loving and giving and for being humble enough to receive.

    I think I’m in both ebb and flow right now but I’ve been in totally receiving mode and I remember how humbling the experience was. Goddess bless you and your hubby.

    Reply

  4. Rachel
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 15:48:21

    Beautiful post (as always!)

    Reply

  5. Lindsey Mead (@lemead)
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 17:56:41

    This is so, so marvelous. I know I am often guilty of the not receiving that you mention. Your words bring tears to my eyes because mostly, honestly, I feel unworthy of others’ help and love, and like I don’t want to impose. Where do we learn that? I never feel others are imposing when they need me. Sigh. The task of a lifetime, this, isn’t it?

    Reply

    • Lisa A. McCrohan
      Feb 21, 2013 @ 09:01:39

      YES, Lindsey, I hear you about not feeling “worthy” of others’ help…like we don’t want to impost. I don’t GET IT! Everything IN me tells me that that is NOT how we live and love, but yet it is soooo operative in me. I think about how others are suffering more than me and I “shouldn’t want so much.” Yes, olllllllld patterns of thinking and believing weaved into us. BUT, not impossible to shift. Glad to be on this journey with you! Love, Lisa

      Reply

  6. Marjory Mejia (@sacredflow)
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 11:39:26

    Dear Lisa, thank you for your tender and beautiful words of wisdom. “It’s your time to receive.” Indeed it is, for all of us. I keep you in my heart and prayers dear woman of light. Bless the ebb and flow of life, of friendship, our sacred relations. AHO

    Reply

  7. Lisa A. McCrohan
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 07:30:32

    Marjory!!! How are you, love?!!! Yes, yes…the ebb and flow in relationships (sacred relationships…all of them)…and honoring them. I so think of you! I’ll have to pop over and visit your blog again. Your words are often with me. Love, Lisa

    Reply

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Copyright. 2013. All rights reserved. No portion of any post may be copied without written permission from the author. The advice offered herein does not constitute a substitute for professional psychological treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice and intervention. The self-help contents are solely the opinion of the blogger and should not be considered as a form of therapy, advice, direction and/or diagnosis or treatment of any kind: medical, spiritual, mental, or other. If expert advice or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.
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