Monday, October 24, 2011

Dodging Bullets

A friend called to thank me for helping her dodge a bullet. I was flattered and stunned by the bullet's calamitous trajectory, but I didn't help her dodge a bullet. She dodged the bullet. I showed up, I challenged her thinking some, but she listened and she chose differently as a result. She made some hard choices, and I am sure it helped to have someone goad versus glad-hand, but still, she deserves the medal not me. In that moment, I felt the hero's confusion of, "I was just doing my job" or in this case, "I was just being a friend."

Challenging a friend's strongly held beliefs is tricky. Rarely are you given one on one time to engage in the Socratic method of inquiry. Who shows up to talk to you alone? Who let's you ask contrary questions? Who let's you cry when you feel pain? She did, and I am grateful.

There is much . Hold true to yourself and bring the blessings of all you encounter with you.
Now the heart's dream turns to requiem,
Offering itself a poultice of tears
To cleanse from loss what cannot be lost. 
Through all the raw and awkward days,
Dignity will hold the heart to grace
Lest it squander its dreams on a ghost. 
Often torn ground is ideal for seed
That can root disappointment deep enough
To yield a harvest that cannot wither: 
A deeper light to anoint the eyes,
Passion that opens wings in the heart,
A subtle radiance of countenance:
The soul ready for its true other. 
John O'Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us, from For Broken Trust