These are the People Who Share my Life

Recently, I realized that many of the people in my life now are going to be the people who support me and who I support through the rest of my life. I watched as I helped friends grow and face challenges. I sat beside my girlfriend in the emergency room. I asked the people closest in my life to pitch in and help me out. and later, thinking about the challenges that some people in my life are facing, I realize that I'll be there through the rest of their story.

Ten years ago, having names to put to my circle of love would have been such a relief. Ten years ago, my greatest fear was that of being alone. I imagined growing old without a primary partner, somehow drifting apart from my friends, and eventually finding myself declining through life with no one. I wanted to find someone, find relationships so that I wouldn't have to face that darkness.

I've come to see things differently. First, love is dynamic; it's about risks and growth. The certainty I find today relates to my confidence that I can continue to grow, continue to connect with others. I watch my parents, others older than I, and I see that throughout a life it is possible to build, establish and strengthen connection. So, I can approach the rest of my life with confidence that I will be able to find love and connection. I'm no longer worried about whether the connections I have today are strong enough to last the rest of my life, but instead, I draw strength from my skill at maintaining these connections and building new ones.

As such, I can face the inherent vulnerability of love, drawing strength and joy from it rather than approaching my fear. Sometimes I'll be taking joy from my ability to support someone else, being there so they are not alone. Because I have strength in where I am, I can connect with them and their needs.

I've even found growth in how I approach accepting support from others. I come from a position of strength. Even though I may be vulnerable today, there is no shame or fear in expressing that vulnerability. I have offered something in the past, I will have something to offer in the future. I can rejoice in accepting the help of my friends in connecting through being cared for. I can do this without fear of taking too much and ending up alone clouding my connection.

Most of all, I can live in the moment of love with the people in my life. I can feel that I am loved, that I love. Yes, death and other forms of distance will change the future. I've chosen to believe in my future self and those around me; I don't need to solve all the future's problems now. I have the rest of my life to work to not be alone but instead to be love.