Today I read a story about a mother and child sitting together, mom asks the daughter, how was recess today? Daughter replied “I played a game on the monkey bars and kept an eye on the buddy bench.” The daughters school has a wooden double seater, nestled on the edge of the playground, which is a simple call for anyone who is needing a buddy in that moment. Anyone who needs a hug, a friend, someone to talk, someone who feels alone or lonely, sits on that bench as a gentle but clear call that they need emotional support. And the kids always come.
I absolutely teared up when I read that… I sure would have sat on that bench as a child, many days feeling so different and unwanted from my peers. In an instant the child inside me felt emotion just reading that.
This story really touched me for several reasons. 1, I love the idea of asking for help, plain and simple. When we let others know about our struggles only then can they help. But all too often as adults we try to look or even feel strong, which is made up by our own definitions. Isn’t a huge part of strength vulnerability? Of course it is. “Strong enough to cry” I always used to say. This buddy bench metaphor really opened my heart for myself and for others, keeping in mind that often times peoples request for help isn’t as gentle or clear, but sometimes comes in the form of worry, sadness, insecurity, and fear.
Last but not least, the daughter kept an eye on that bench. She was listening for support, listening for the silence that speaks for comfort. What if we were all more keen to hear others as wanting love and support instead of finding defects and faults?
I’m very, very grateful for my incredibly supportive friends and family, I’m grateful to my Self for getting to a place that communicates what I’m feeling instead of responding to it.