As I was foraging in my garden this morning, I found the beautiful cucumber that you see in this picture, hiding beneath a large leaf. They had started to grow as two separate cucumbers, however at some point, because they were growing in such close proximity to each other, they became connected. For some reason these cucumbers made me think of how we grow with and into each other as humans. When we have been in close contact with someone, for some time, we start to grow into them and they into us. When we carry a child in our womb, or on our hip they become part of us and we become part of them. It also happens when we spend a lot of time walking down the street holding someone’s hand. Or if we sit next to or across from them at the table regularly to eat a meal or have our morning coffee and tea. These are just a few of the conditions that allow us to grow with and into each other in life.
My stepfather was recently diagnosed with cancer and given a bleak prognosis. I have been observing his sadness about his condition, but more than that, I’ve been observing his sadness at the idea of someday soon no longer being in relationship with the people he loves. I have also witnessed my mother’s sadness at his condition, and again more deeply her sadness at the idea of not getting to continue to share her days with this person who has been part of her for so long.
Like the cucumbers, we do not completely meld with another person. We do not lose our own shape, yet we do send out tendrils of our essence (of our being) and plant those tendrils into those who are closest to use. The tendrils go to and from both people and they pull us closer to each other. Sometimes so much so that we can’t discern where one person ends and the other begins. The borderline between us and another person is sometimes hidden below the surface. Just as it is with these beautiful cucumbers.
We are all aware of pain that comes from the severing of the tendrils between ourselves and others, yet I feel concern that we don’t always allow ourselves to truly feel the tendrils, and the connection that comes with them while they are forming or firmly planted. Do we savor the essence of another that is shared with us? Do we celebrate their unique flavor and frolic in the expansion that happens within us in response to it? Do we see the value in the shifts that come about within us as a result of this specific connection?
I ask because I am not sure I do. I’m not sure it is a skill that I have developed adequately. I think I sometimes want to fit new tendrils into old and outdated receptors. Or I want to define how the tendrils (the connection) someone is offering me should look, feel, smell and emote. Essentially I want to define someone’s essence and then pick and choose the aspects of their being that I want to behold. Odd isn’t it? Especially when I know so clearly how important it is to me to honor my own essence and be free to be completely and unabashedly me, and to be loved for it.
This is the gift that I am offered in this time of sorrow and contemplation. I am given the opportunity to refine and expand how I allow in and perceive my connections with others. It invites me to explore more deeply how I interact with these loving tendrils that others offer me. Do I have expectations and conditions that I place upon these offerings of connection? Or do I simply recognize their existence and receive and celebrate all of the beautifully unique ways in which they are offered to me.
Maybe this is how we learn to truly receive love from others. We learn how to recognize and receive it even when it is offered in an unfamiliar form; when it comes to us as an expression that doesn’t necessarily fit our “love language.” Maybe this is how we learn to perceive beyond the surface form of expressed love and encounter the essence and intention of that love.
I hope you are already fully proficient at the art of perceiving and receiving all of the love in your lives.
I love you,
Tawa Ranes has a very curious mind and has always been interested in the nature of consciousness and the workings of the Universe. Since healing has been a big part of her own personal journey, much of her curiosity focuses on understanding how and why healing occurs or fails to take place.