These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Emotional scaffolding

‘When I spend time de-cluttering my house it feels good,’ Suzy said in a thoughtful tone.
‘I know what you mean,’ replied Trudie, ‘it’s just refreshing to get rid of some of that stuff that’s in the way, you know, the stuff we don’t use or really need.’
Suzy nodded as she leant back in the sofa.
There was a comfortable silence between them as they both went away in their own thoughts.

‘Why is it,’ Trudie asked abruptly, jarring the silence in an awkward way, she sat forward and moved to the edge of the seat, ‘why is it that we are so good at clearing out the material stuff, you know, the physical things in our lives but not so good at the emotional stuff? What’s with that?’
‘I’ve no idea…’ the response trailed off.

A few seconds passed and Trudie turned to look at her friend.
‘Maybe we’re afraid that …’
‘Maybe, and this is just a thought of the top of my head, you know, maybe we’re afraid that if we do emotional de-cluttering then we’ll see what’s really bothering us in our lives and then we’ll have to do something about it ‘cause all the stuff that was hiding it is gone. I don’t know, just thinking out loud.’
‘I think you’re right, Suze,’
‘You know what?’
‘Well, I’ve just realised that I have been doing some emotional spring cleaning, and when I’ve let go of some of the harmful people in my life, like that woman I told you about, the one I used to work with…’
‘You mean the one who kept talking over you and belittling everything you did?’
‘Yeah,’ Suzy laughed a tight laugh, ‘that one! Well, I had the courage to talk to her a while ago and I told her that I was not happy with how she was treating me. I told her it had to change to something I was more comfortable with. It has and I’m glad I did it. It was so right. Long overdue mind you, but so right for me. I’m not sure where I got the strength from but I did it.’
‘Good for you. Well done.’
‘Anyway,’ Suzy exhaled deeply.
‘That sounds like relief to me…’ Trudie looked directly at her friend whose eyes had started to gather pools of water.
‘Anyway,’ she continued, ‘I felt lighter and clearer than I had in ages once I’d done that. It just felt so good.’
‘I’m pleased for you, hun.’

Trudie leaned over and held Suzy’s hand.
‘Are you ok?’
A small shake of the head told her that the answer was both yes and no.

‘But what I was trying to get to,’ Suzy continued, ‘was that I feel so much better now that’s out of the way. It’s not taking up space in my head. I’m not worrying about it, you know, how I’m going to feel the next time I see her and she says something like she always did.’
‘I’m pleased for you. Really pleased. So… That means that you have been doing emotional spring-cleaning as well?’
A bright laugh sprang from Suzy’s throat ‘Yeah, I guess so. And to feels really good to let her go and to make room in my life for people like you… No, I mean it.’
The feeble protest failed and it was Trudies’s turn to get emotional.
‘Trudie, I’ve only known you a few years but it’s been such a positive experience. I know I’m going through a lot of personal growth at the moment, and I feel you have supported me through it. That’s made it easier for me.’
‘Thank you. It’s been my pleasure to know you as well, you know.’
‘Yeah, I do know, you do tell me, and, believe it or not, I am starting to believe you. I’m so glad that I’m letting go of the negative people and that leaves more clear space for people like you to come into my life. I’m glad you are in my life.’
‘Suze, that is so sweet,’ the tears are flowing now from Trudie’s face. ‘You know I’ve been on my own journey too, and it’s just amazing to know that you want me in your life and see me as a positive influence. So many people see me as negative right now,’ Trudie managed a wry laugh, ‘ with all the mess in my life at the moment, that just fills me with joy to know I am positive in someone’s life. Thank you.’ Reaching for a tissue she buries her face for a few moments to compose herself again.
‘Hey, you’re welcomed.’ Suzy rubbed her hand gently across her friend's shoulders.
‘you’re so welcomed. You know, I think we are starting to believe each other, and accept that each of us really does mean it when we say these things.’

A smile of recognition smile grows between them, they have both dared to open up and share that deeper truth that is usually laden with the fear of exposure. And, both are surprised at how safe they feel, in their own ways. And so their journeys continue …

The emotional scaffolding is in place.

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