Project Reverb prompt: “Who was your hero this year? Tell us why. What makes a hero in your eyes?”
My hero this year was ME. What I was able to accomplish and withstand this year (the past few years really) is pretty amazing. I was my own champion, protector, advocate, defender, guardian, angel.
When I first read this prompt, that’s the answer that immediately arose, but I laughed and kept looking. I thought, “how arrogant would it be to answer I’d been my own hero?” and kept contemplating the prompt. I was thinking about people who have supported me in the past few years, and Rachel Cole and the book club I did with her came to mind, so I checked my calendar, unable to remember if that was this year or last. That led to looking at my schedule, seeing all the things I’d done in the past year, specifically yoga teacher training and getting a new puppy and trying to figure out what was wrong with Sam, along with everything else that I do, all the other difficulties.
I carried myself through this year. I provided support, made sure I had the help I needed, was my own soft place to land. Sure there were lots of people who helped and loved me, but I was always there, through it all, ready to do whatever was necessary — I never abandoned myself.
Reverb14 prompt: “The hectic pace of our lives can make it difficult to remain connected to the things and the people that matter the most to us. We get wrapped up in our work or our busyness and connection falls by the wayside. How have you created and/or sustained connections in your life this year?”
I have regular dates with friends. I make sure to spend the time face to face. I’m very selective about who these people are, and I am uplifted by our time together. They are smart and funny and kind. However, as an HSP introvert who is very busy, I don’t have the space or energy to give this to very many people. And yet, I have many other relationships that are very real which I sustain through technology both old and new — letters, phone calls, texts, emails, Skype, social media. These connections are a different flavor, but just as real — for example, my connection to a sangha through the Open Heart Project.
With my tiny family, I make sure my evenings and weekends are typically free so we can spend that time together. I’ve also had to learn to sustain a connection to those I’ve lost or see very rarely, and that has taught me that even if you never see them again, the relationship and the love remains as long as you remember, as long as you keep a place in your heart for them. Things like metta practice and prayer, simply taking a moment to think about someone and send them love maintains a connection.