Just Be Company
Sometimes, I can’t hear you when you tell me everything will be all right.
Sometimes, when you offer comfort, I feel unseen. Unseen in my rage, despair, grief. Or that you want me to pretend that my rage, despair, grief, are like good-but-grumpy cats that can be distracted with a saucer of milk. When what I know is that they are tigers.
And that they are ravenous.
Sometimes, when you offer comfort, I feel untrusted. Disrespected, even. You can trust me to be in the tigers’ den. I know where I am. I’ll know when I am in danger. Right now, I am simply in company. I am a tiger too. Respect my right to rage, despair, grieve. I know how to call for help. Trust me to know what I need.
Sometimes, when you offer comfort, I feel marginalized. The comfort that I don’t want feels like something you offer because you need me to stop raging, despairing, grieving. My truth makes you uncomfortable, and suddenly your comfort seems more deserving of space than my truth.
When you try to lessen my fear, you undermine my discernment. If I am overwhelmed, and you tell me that I shouldn’t be… what does that tell me about the trustworthiness of my feelings?
In a time in which so much is contradicted, disputed, divisive… the most important thing that I can do is trust myself. I have to find, believe in and hold fast to my essence. That’s how I’ll steer my way forward.
Sometimes, comfort isn’t comforting. In those times, just be company.
It looks like this:
Yes, this is really, really hard.
No, I don’t know what’s going to happen either.
I’ll just sit here, and keep you company. We can talk about anything, or nothing.
We can wait for the next thing to happen, or not.
Regardless, there will be a next thing.
And then we’ll face the next thing.
And I will keep you company.
This post was written by Laurie Dietrich