Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Friendship: a gift to be shared

Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Jalal-ud-Din Rumi

My friend C.C.W. sent me the poem above this morning. I've never met C.C.W. but for the past three years we've shared a wonderful connection through this wired place. This morning, when I opened my email, there she was. Filled with light and encouragement and wisdom and a gentle spirit that resonates so harmoniously with mine.

Seven and a half years ago when I first started using the Internet as a place to connect with people on a daily basis, I was wounded and bruised and battered. I needed somewhere, someone to see me, hear me, help me. I had just been released from a relationship with a man who promised to love me 'til death do us part and who was actively engaged in making the 'death' part my reality. He was in jail. I was free and I was lost.

So I came to cyberland.

It was here that I first found my voice. It was here that I found people who had experiences similar to mine and who were willing to share their wisdom, courage and experience. In their sharing I found the courage to heal. I found the strength to keep breathing, to keep 'letting it go', to keep digging into myself to find my truth.

In the course of those first few months after his arrest, my 'cyber friends' were my lifeline to normalcy. They understood where others couldn't -- not because they didn't want to or didn't try, but rather because they could not. Encounters of the disorderly personality kind seem incomprehensible in a world where 'I love you' is a caring promise. To the personality disordered 'I love you' is an empty phrase that can also mean, 'I hate you', 'I own you', 'I am repelled by you', 'I must break you and make you like me'. For those who have never had an intimate encounter, it is hard to believe someone would willingly, knowingly, consciously do the things personality disordered kin do.

My cyberfriends knew what I was going through and helped me through it.

This place called 'cyberland' is a powerful place -- when used with discretion, when visited with care, when treated with respect. I have met a few not so well-intentioned folk over the years, but mostly, I've met people just like me. People seeking their truth, walking their path as best they can.

I've been blessed. I've met some of my virtual friends in reality and been thrilled to find the cyber-bond just as real in real life. C.Z., who sometimes visits here, was one of my very first encounters. C.Z. continues to be a dear and trusted friend today. C.Z. and I have survived cyberwars, we've survived misunderstandings, we've survived other people's manipulations to create havoc. And while C.Z. and I have never met face to face, we have a shared experience that connects us. Like 'Matilda', CZ and I go 'waaay' back. We've seen each others falls and each others triumphs on the path.

Writing here I have met more amazing people as well. Maureen. Diane. Joyceann. Glynn. Brandi. Sandra. nAncY. L.L. Jeff. Susan. Kat. Mark. Kathleen, all of whom share their beauty and wonder every day on their blogs. (You'll find them in my blog list in the right-hand sidebar.)

It is an amazing place, this cyberland and my world is richer for the people I know in this place.

Thank you C.C.W. for reminding me this morning that there is wonder in every connection and beauty all around.

Friendship comes in many forms. It is always a gift to be shared.

Thank you everyone for sharing your friendship so generously.

I am blessed.


Brandi said...

I have been blessed because of you and your beautiful words...thank you friend!

Maureen said...

As are we all. May peace be always with you.

Hugs and love.

Glynn said...

And we're blessed, too, by that Canadian form "up north." She has this giving, loving spirit that keeps showing up on her blog day and day.