the edges of myself

words, words, words

Among the many realizations I’ve had about myself of late are these two things: 1.) Despite my belief that I am an incredibly open person, I have some pretty massive, fortified walls up around me. And 2.) I have a really hard time trusting women. These two realizations both hit me like a ton of bricks this past weekend while I sat in a healing ceremony with a group of women.

Since I was little girl I’ve always considered myself “one of the boys.” I was the girl who proudly beat all the boys in arm wrestling in 7th grade.  As a child I was constantly competing with my brother and my father. I unlocked the roots of that this weekend– but delving into that is for another day. My point here is, true female friendship for me is rare. It is a very select number of women who I’ve actually allowed myself to be personally vulnerable with– and one of them is moving across the country tomorrow.

She found me early in my Portland days– in the first year of opening my studio. She was a fellow Pilates instructor, energy healer, mother– the list of things we had in common was never-ending. I still remember the first moment her eyes met mine as she walked through the door of my sweet little studio. There was an instant recognition. My soul took in a huge breath, relieved, and said “there you are!”

We tumbled quickly into a friendship love affair, each of us taken with the other. She began working out of my Pilates studio teaching and doing energy work. She stepped up and took care of me and my business when I found myself in the midst of a medical emergency and unable to work. We were like twins, separated at birth and at long last reunited. I felt from her a recognition and an understanding that I hadn’t ever really had in my life. She spoke the language that I didn’t realize existed outside the walls of my head. She helped me to trust myself and expand in directions that I’d been scared to go before.

We continued growing alongside one another as colleagues and friends for several years. I expanded my business into a new location and plummeted into single motherhood as my first marriage dissolved. Things began to feel a bit sticky and yucky between us as our similarities diverged but we continued to individually expand. My new studio ultimately didn’t work for her. I still remember the conversation we had on the phone, I was sitting in my backyard, both of us feeling into the yuck between us– trying to find clarity in it. I burst into tears as it dawned on us that we were no longer meant to be housed under the same roof. We cleared the energy between us as tenderly and graciously as we could. We acknowledged the grief along with the feeling of new-found freedom.

The years that followed were a lengthening separation– the tender love of smothered-sisterhood-in-need-of-space between us. Occasionally we’d run into each other on the street– always acknowledging the massive love we had for each other. Once we randomly saw each other at the coast. She met my now husband in that isolated moment. As we moved away from her and her family I struggled to articulate to him the massiveness of who this woman was to me for fear of opening old wounds in myself that hadn’t fully healed.

Gradually we moved into a more comfortable place with each other with the passage of time. A few months ago she reached out to me about doing an energy work trade. I felt an immediate yes– and then we struggled to find the time. Both sessions happened perfectly, momentously and completed a cycle that began that moment my soul took her in for the first time in this lifetime.

Ours is a friendship that is beyond precious. It is rare to find someone who is able to hold a deep healing space for you while simultaneously allowing herself to be vulnerable– and who allows you to do the same. It is even more exceptional to find someone willing and able to consciously dive into lifetimes of karma with you and come out the other side lighter and brighter and full of love for each other.

Discovering that she was moving away from our perfectly isolated bubble shocked me. Though it has been years and years since she has been a regular part of my daily existence, I took her proximity for granted. I made an assumption, as we humans often do, that she would remain in my peripheral orbit– touching in every so often, maintaining our carefully established rhythm. As I process through the fact that my friend is leaving, I am floored by her courage to pick up and move on from the beautiful life she has created. She reminds me with her graceful departure just how mundane and meaningless time and space are in the grand scheme of things.

There are some connections that surpass the stories that our human minds like to tell about them. They defy definition or categorization. She will forever remain in my orbit, my treasured karmic sister. And while I do grieve her departure, I also innately understand that no matter the time or space between us, WE will always feel like home.

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