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Holding Together

trees in frost at sunrise

These are tricky times we are navigating, and with any challenging situation, we see many different approaches and responses to the stress of daily living.

Every day I see people holding together. Sharing their vulnerabilities and drawing close to listen and show up for each other. Honouring the way we are all connected by not rushing in to fix but listening and hearing, as we all discover ways to nurture and thrive together.

A few friends have dropped a bomb in their lives, and called time on situations they are dealing with. They cannot carry on, and even though they do not know what to do next, the need to stop is paramount. They are creating the time and space they need to rest, recover and ponder on the kind of lives they want to live. They have given themselves permission to be vulnerable and to share how they are feeling, as they explore different options.

Holding together is a gift.

At a service in the chapel of an old stately home this week, we were reliant on a CD player for the music. I had searched high and low for an instrumental version to accompany the hymn the family had chosen, without success. The setting was charming and held us together, so I was able to simply explain to the congregation that we needed to 'wing it' on the hymn without music. The hymn was not one I was familiar with, so I had been practising a lot beforehand and with a quietly confident air, I led the singing. You can tell this didn't go smoothly already, can't you?

As I started to sing, nerves kicked in, and my mind went utterly blank regarding the tune. The words were coming out, amplified by the microphone in front of me, and I was tuneless.

Then I heard the sound of a wonderful male tenor voice gather and swell, carrying the hymn beautifully. Gratefully, I turned to look at a pair of eyes twinkling at me from a kindly face on the front row to my left, and I joined in with him. A smiling congregation followed. Later on, whilst walking to the graveside, he and I shared a hug, and I whispered my thanks to him.

Listening is a gift.

At the first meeting with a lovely lady this week, I learned a huge amount in an hour. She gifted me the time to share, and I am deeply grateful for her honesty and thoughtful nature laced with warm humour. I am self-employed and dip into many different organisations where we need to pull together as a team. It is not always smooth sailing, especially in our current times. To find a kindred spirit is a blessing.

A blogging buddy shared a public post this week about his feelings and how his life felt out of balance. He trusted that our writing community would read, listen and support him without judgment and gift space to explore his options. What unfolded was a beautiful expression of loving care.

Holding together is a gift. We just need to share our vulnerability to find it.


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