there are people in this world with whom your heart knows you are welcome, you are home, you are safe. people who make space in their hearts to hold yours. my friend t is one of those people for me. i am instant butt-wiggling tail-wagging happy within moments of hello hugging t. my ass was happy dancing on the couch with her yesterday, although moments before our hello hug, i was sobbing in the car. yesterday’s tears caught me by surprise. my car is my private crying place, my let down all the walls and take off every mask and sing as loudly as i can place, and if tears come, tears are allowed to fall in the car. until i stepped into my car yesterday, i had forgotten what day it was, i had forgotten to avoid what this week means, i had forgotten to ignore my heart’s grief. with the remembering, tears leaked. historically and habitually from self-protection when i’ve felt saddest, i’ve clamped shut, locked the gates, and refused to let anything in or out. with all but a few long-tested people who are safe refuges, i don’t surrender tears or vulnerability or words or breath. when i am sad (or angry or hurt or afraid), i quit breathing. i stop feeling. i go cold and blank.
yesterday my face cracked into red swollen fragments with tears. i sucked back the tears before i parked the car. t was waiting for me on the sidewalk across the street. she opened her arms to hug me when i was several feet away. i walked into her arms and let her hold me. i held her back. i held tight. i didn’t let go until all the tears i had sucked inside melted into something softer. once we had ordered drinks, slipped off our shoes, and sat facing each other on the couch, i told her about the tears that had washed past me as i was driving to meet her. she paused my tear talk, stood up, and got bar napkins, just in case more tears were on their way. i didn’t cry in front of t yesterday (although i’ve cried in her presence before), but i spoke and i breathed and i surrendered into the safety of her heart and let myself be vulnerable. and then i let myself be happy, because i feel good in her presence. i am safe in her presence. she reminds me that i am safe in the world because my joyful heart loves to shine love and the love i give is safe to feel and offer and share. i remind her that she is powerful and capable and ready to apply the wisdom she knows. then, i happy-wiggled for another hour while we exchanged the details of love, passion, and sexy peacefulness as ice-cold beverages wet our lips and tongues and slid down our throats.