Monday, April 28, 2014

Grateful and No Longer Jammed Up, by F.C.

In 1970, the Vietnam War raging, there I was......a U.S. Marine sitting in a Marine Corps Cattle Car.  We were on our way to war training maneuvers......all of us wearing helmets with our M-16's between our legs, not one man saying a word......a "lean mean fighting machine".....each alone with his thoughts and feelings......we keep to ourselves......frightened, lonely, jammed up.  We were being trained to protect our way of life, our country, and our families.

In 1987, I am on a commuter bus to New York City from a New Jersey suburb with a group of men.  We are the "suits"  We are being transported to the Big Apple to do battle.  We must protect our families, feed them, keep a roof over their heads.  We traded our M-16's for leather attaches.  I feel particularly secure in my three piece suit, because the vest is snug and tight.....it protects my vital organs.  We catch each other's eyes occasionally and nod, then we hide in our newspapers (lean mean competitive machines).....each alone with his thoughts and feelings.....we keep to ourselves.....frightened, lonely, jammed up.

Suited for the Next Mission

Today is April 21, 2014.  I belong to a MWW Group.  We met this morning. There are 13 of us.  We've been meeting for a few years (and attendance has been great).  First we "check in" and then we discuss a topic.  So, what's the big deal.....right????  Yes it's a big deal and here's why it was for me today.  I came to today's meeting feeling overwhelmed.  My mother has been diagnosed with metastaic cancer,and I'm not seeing eye-to-eye with my siblings (need I say more?).  I felt alone with my thoughts and feelings, frightened, jammed up and I wanted to keep this to myself.; but that's not what we do in my MWW group.  So during "check-in" I share my problem; and after "check-in" the men devoted the rest of the two hours to sharing about the situation that I'm facing.  A situation that that they might have previously dealt with, or might soon deal with it in their own lives.  During the two hours I received incredible support and understanding.  I received wonderful wisdom. Everything that was shared with me contained forgiveness and compassion. They shared many great ideas with me.  I FELT LOVED.  After the meeting one fellow said, "Call me if you need anything".  Another said he would watch after my house when I go to my Mom's.

As I drove home my chest was no longer tight.  I did not feel alone with my problem.  I had shared it because that's what we do in MWW.  I don't know how it works, but it does.  I owe these men a debt of gratitude.

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