Anxiety is new to me. I am not sure why now, or why so intense. I can only guess, due to specific areas of growth in my life, that I am feeling some things that I have not allowed myself to feel in the past. These emotions have likely accumulated to the point that, once felt, it is a bit overwhelming, and overwhelmed I am. In the end this is only a guess, but the anxiety is here, and seems to be hanging on for a bit. Due to this hanging on aspect I have decided to try and allow it to be there, with me, and still live as I normally would. This, as opposed to holing up and hiding from the world as the anxiety runs its course. This decision led me to visit a friend the other night despite my desire to call and cancel our plans to get together. My friend is a true friend, yet a new friend. My friend is a woman with whom I am a bit taken, but with whom there are many differences. Large differences that need to be experienced as opposed to defined. These differences have led us to define the friendship as friendship and nothing more for now with an openess for the relationship to evolve or even devolve into something other than friendship.
With that explained to the best of my ability while being vague, the point is this. I showed up on her doorstep, as planned, but with the announcement, "I am here despite a high level of anxiety that has me feeling as though I should have cancelled, because this may not be much fun for you". Those words came out, she grabbed my hand, walked with me to a futon, layed down and pulled me to the futon as well. Now you might think this is going somwhere more interesting than it really is, but that is it. She layed there with me and my anxiety for the next 45 minutes or so with very few words if any. I am not even sure if we spoke or not. It does not matter, because the point is that even though on the surface this appears less interesting than other possible outcomes of laying down together, it is likely the most interesting outcome I could have personally experienced. Nothing even close to that has ever happened in my life. Another human being, allowing my emotions to exist as they do, and sharing that space with me. I did not know this was possible. After some time, in an effort to show my appreciation, and shock I spoke. I relayed the fact that I had never experienced something like this, and thanked her. She was confused, because she had felt that I had done essentially the same thing for her earlier that same week. I decided the giving and receiveing of such things must be very different experiences, because even though I knew the time she spoke of earlier in the week, it was such a simple thing, certainly nothing as profound as this, but to her it had been.
The practical application herein is simply this. It may be difficult to not be triggered by someone elses emotions, especially if the emotions are familiar. This trigger often shows up with trying to make the other person "feel better", which is often nothing more than an effort to get emotion to stop so we can all once again be comfortable. If one can avoid the trigger though, and just be there..............that's it, just be there, and nothing more, we are exercising one of the most practical applications of love I have expereinced to date. Seeing someone as they are, and allowing them to be themself, even when they are showing up with an energy that might be uncomfortable. Once the emotion runs its course, at least in my case, some amazing conversation will likely ensue.
Often times we're lazy in regard to such things. Take time to be, and take time to be with others. Whatever it is that is drawing us away from being kind, and being present in moments of discomfort is nothing more than the distraction we have concocted to avoid the discomfort of the moment. Let's all try to quit being lazy, face our discomfort, and be nice to someone else. The nicest thing we might be able to do is to just be present.