How Controversial Should I Be?

“But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” 
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

I was working with a client a few days ago, and the topic rolled around to suicide.

She had been suicidal once, at a truly difficult time in her life. With therapy and support her life has now moved beyond the worst of the pain and back to a place of balance. But there is no-one to talk with about what happened, she said, now that she no longer pays a therapist to listen. And she worries people will think she is still in that space if she tries to talk about it with friends or family.

‘I understand,’ I said to her.

‘How could you?’ she answered crossly. ‘Only people who’ve been there understand. I mean REALLY understand.’

‘I can feel into your body, and step inside you where you met that pain head-on. So yes, I can understand it from inside you – as a psychic,’ I said, ‘but I also understand. Me. I understand.’ I said those last words more slowly this time, weighting each one.

‘No way,’ she said. ‘You? I don’t believe it.’ She looked genuinely shocked.

‘It’s true.’ I looked her in the eye. ‘I have stood in that place twice, and both times it was unexpected. Each place was a different planet I hope never to go back to. Both times I found a solution that ultimately kept me here. And you’re right. No-one ever talks about this stuff.’

We were out of time, and this was about me now, not about her.

‘Maybe you could blog about it,’ she said to me as we finished up. ‘I would have found that useful, to have known someone like you could have had feelings like me. I mean, I was so f*cked up and broken and ashamed…’ She paused. ‘To have read that, to read that now, would still be helpful. So, could you?’

What do you think, dear Tribe? I’ve written about being psychic and being incontinent and all other manner of personal over-sharing. Should I break this taboo too?

I’ll be guided by you.

Much love, Nicole xx

10 Ways To Be A Friend

image from www.ownedpix.com

image from www.ownedpix.com

“A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.”  ~ Douglas Pagels

 

After I posted about receiving all of the lovely letters and packages in my mail a few days ago (most in response to me being unwell), I had a number of people comment on how lucky I am to have such marvellous friends. And then someone asked me HOW I managed to have ‘those sorts of friends’…

I had to think about it for a minute, but I guess the answer is that I invest time in my friendships.  And love. In fact, the question of friendship got me thinking, and led to this list – 10 ways that you can be a friend, because to have a friend you first have to be one:

1.  Spend time together. Laugh. Cry.  Make memories.

IMG00253-20091117-0110

2.  Encourage one another, and help your friend to be the best that they can be. Be the cheer squad as they chase their dreams.

Cheering for You Card closeup

3. Be honest, but not unkind. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, even if it hurts.  If a friend can’t tell you, who can?

Food

4.  Offer a helping hand, especially in times of trouble. Don’t wait to be asked. Do what’s in your heart. Be thoughtful and considerate.

038131-flood-clean-up

5.  Celebrate life’s good times. 

en-b60

6.  Be there in the bad times.

rbz-runciman-ghost-bike-061

7.  Stay in touch. Work through problems and keep showing up.  Good relationships take time, and need effort to be maintained.

2013-02-04 15.06.17

8.  Share.  Share your hopes, your dreams, your secrets and your fears. And keep shared confidences locked away safe in your heart. That builds trust, and trust is essential in a good friendship.

Friends Talking over Coffee

9.  Listen. Listen with your whole heart.  Sometimes all we need is someone to really hear us, and to honour what’s going on for us.

img_2144

10.  Be loyal.  Stand up for your friend and your friendship.  Support the person even if you can’t support every decision or action they make. Friendships are precious, and they deserve love and care.

friendship-quotes-graphics-16