I used to volunteer at my local hospice.
Me, along with several other volunteers, would wheel a trolley of drinks down the wards, knocking on doors and seeing who wanted a biscuit and cup of tea or coffee.
I think I did it for four years.
I met some amazing people in that place.
And I can’t forget my fellow volunteers.
Some might perceive volunteering at a hospice to be a source of anxiety, but I never experienced anxiety.
99.9% of the time I would say a cloud of calm hung over the building.
I saw how the staff were with the patients; how they talked to them (even when the patients were unconscious), how they walked them to the toilets, how they fed them and dressed them and cleaned them and comforted them with their open hearts, full of compassion.
It takes a special individual to do that.
We can become numb to almost anything, but we’re never numb to love.
Some might seem it, but take a good chisel to their shell with an open heart, and watch that shell break into a thousand pieces.
Some of us take longer to trust than others.
Our shells can seem impenetrable.
We’ve had years and years, decades, of adding layer upon layer of conditioning and suffering, and adding strength to it all by identifying with it.
Many of us refuse help because without our suffering, who are we?
We can ask for help, believing that asking is all it takes to be fixed, but when the help comes we resist it.
It’s okay to allow ourselves to be helped – cared for.
It’s not a sign of weakness, for to ask for help we first have to acknowledge our suffering, which requires strength.
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