Sunday, August 12, 2018

Impossibly Impassable

I just got home from the BEST. VACATION. EVER. No, seriously - I can't imagine a better one. It wasn't a trip-of-a-lifetime to some exotic, far-away locale. It wasn't a thrilling succession of new people and places and experiences. There were no euphoria-inducing roller coasters or gourmet dinners. It was just... HOME.

Many of my readers know that I hail from the cozy little town of Woodstock in New Brunswick, Canada. With a population of five thousand, it may not be the most happening place on the planet, but it's home. And I hadn't been back in almost six years.

It was delightful - for many reasons. For one, New Brunswick is beautiful; my nature-loving soul was enjoying a continual feast. Early-morning walks along the river, trips to the beach, uninterrupted sunrises and sunsets... bliss.

But for once, it wasn't all about the scenery, gorgeous as it was. It was about the people.

(A little backstory: I've suffered from bipolar disorder for most of my life, and didn't know it until two years ago. Thanks to the resulting ups and downs, any visit I made back home consisted mainly of drinking in the natural beauty and lounging around my parents' house. However, it's been over a year since I've experienced any bipolar symptoms {for details about that, see this post}. In real life, this translates into more energy, more consistency, steadier emotions, less desire for isolation and more inclination to be with people. I've also lost sixty pounds in the past year, which has definitely helped boost both my energy and confidence!)

This was the first time ever that I dared to reach out to some significant people from various points in my past. I was a little nervous, attempting to connect with individuals whom I hadn't seen face to face in as much as twenty five years, but oh, I'm so glad I did! Everyone I contacted seemed downright delighted at the prospect of seeing me. That was (pleasant) surprise number one.

Surprise number two came from the visits themselves. I ended up connecting with around a dozen people - met some for coffee or lunch, visited a few in their homes, walked and talked in the park, chatted in a parking lot and a church stairwell... I was hugged and fed and watered and prayed with and prophesied over and encouraged. We laughed and cried and reminisced and caught up on our lives; shared hopes and dreams and talked through worries and fears. It was all so good.

Boiled down, it all had a very healing effect. I felt as though many of those precious friendships from the past had been drawn into my present - that they weren't just old connections but current ones, bridging my past to my future in the most wonderful way. Perhaps this was especially meaningful because of our recent move and now-lack of close, deep, local friendships. But whatever the logic behind it, it was a beautiful thing. I'm so thankful for these dear souls who were/are willing to share their lives with me ❤

And as if all that wonderfulness isn't enough, there was another, even more unanticipated outcome. There's been a personal issue I've been pounding away at for over two years now, with not much progress. But as I experienced the joy of community, of belonging, of soul-to-soul connecting, I found that the path that had seemed so impossibly impassable suddenly opened up a bit, allowing me to take a few more steps forward. I had no idea how interconnected the different parts of my life are, and that breakthrough in one area could lead to breakthrough in another - totally unrelated - area. (And may I add here a hearty "hallelujah!"?)

Ahhhh, that's better. I've been struggling to define what happened in me on this most satisfying of holidays, and I understand it all a little better now. Thanks for listening 😊❤