The other night Pete and I were being totally inappropriate and speculating about people we knew being sex addicts. Eventually it got to our family and we started going down the list. Now let me say, these days I'm so jaded it would take a lot to shock me with a sex addict exposé . But when it came to my brother both Pete and I figured he was clean.
"No way he's a sex addict." Pete said.
"I agree, but how are you so sure?"
"He makes the real connection."
Apparently that's a term they use in SA. The elusive "real connection." And it's true. My brother really connects with people. He really cares about them. He keeps in touch. He loves and forgives. He is unselfish enough to thoughtfully consider someone's feelings, and feel genuine compassion and concern. But also he opens his heart and lives with appreciation for the care and kindness he knows others have for him. He is the only member of my family I have ever considered confiding in.
I think Pete and I are both heartbroken that we don't have a real connection between us. For so long we have looked to each other to meet our needs. [Forgive me Harriet!] But we have expected so much of each other and been so hurt. I wanted his recovery so much it consumed me. And he wanted my love and admiration so much he felt crazy. And, for the last few months, we have both been incapable of offering what the other was so desperate for.
Almost exactly one year ago this weekend my heart raced as I exited the plane and stepped nervously out my gate. From across the walkway I saw a the back of a familiar blonde mane and heard the familiar excited voice of my friend Mac as she approached. I was vulnerable and humble. I was frantic for a real connection.
For the next two days I feasted on real connection.
With Camp Scabs approaching I find myself feeling that familiar nervous and vulnerable feeling. But I am confident that once more as I sit around the table with real and amazing women I will yet again watch my cup overflow with love and genuine affection.
Never were friendships born and matured faster, never were hearts more open and accepting, never have women been so bonded as WoPA.
God has given me real connections to emotionally sustain me while I repair my relationship with my husband.
The finale of Les Miserables evokes strong emotions in me. Together, Valjean, Fantine and Eponine sing these words.
Take my hand
And lead me to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
The truth that once was spoken:
To love another person is to see the face of god.
Making a "real connection" is truly the most healing, most therapeutic, most divine feeling I've discovered. On my worst days, I can always take solace in the love (and humor) of my dearest friends. Strip away fame, strip away power, strip away wealth. Experience addiction, death, privation, and ridicule. Eliminate beauty, intelligence, and skill. And between two people can be exchanged something so powerful yet simple, we all become equals.
That is the real connection.