I found myself again at IKEA this week, explaining Mercury in retrograde to the older woman with kind eyes who was behind the returns/exchanges counter.
"You see, it's this phenonemon when Mercury looks like it's moving backwards in the sky. And it fucks everything up. Communication, decision making, IKEA item purchasing. Which is why I'm here for the fourth time in 11 days. To return this futon cover that is the wrong size."
She smiled at me. "Hmm, I'd never heard about Mercury in retrograde. But that does explain a lot. And I am sorry about your inconvenience."
I nodded and laughed a little to myself. "Thank you."
Sometimes you just need to be heard... someone to receive you, to hear your struggle - no matter how insignificant.
For me, I needed to share Futon-gate 2014: the great transformation of our guest bedroom into a functional office/bedroom space. First trip was the determine the IKEA futon situation in person with Mike. They were sold out of the one we wanted but there was another color option. We had to think on it. Next step was to go back and purchase the backup color option futon. Trip three was to get the parts that, once assembly commenced, I discovered were missing out of the futon box. Ugh. Trip four (and hopefully last) was to get the right size cover, after we grabbed the wrong one off the shelf in our haste to move on with our lives.
A grand total of 12 of my living hours spent at IKEA, most of it waiting in the return/exchange queue. It was annoying and undoubtedly, a total first world problem. But despite that, I still wanted to share and be heard, to relate to people, to know that I'm not alone. And to also quell that little bit of "you screwed up, you bought the wrong size cover" that was showing up inside me.
Because we all share in struggle. It's the human condition. And how we dance with it varies... maybe your jam is connecting over dinner with friends, time with family, a book club, an online forum. Whatever being in relationship with others feels and sounds like to you, we all deserve to be understood and connected.
When we open up to offer our missteps and wrong turns, it unconsciously gives other people the freedom to share their own. We form deeper connections and stronger bonds to the people around us. Life starts to feel different, like we're not alone or messing up on our journey. When we are connected - vulnerably and openly - your whole universe expands.