My treasured friend Melanie and I were in the midst of a conversation last evening, when she said, I’d love it if you would write a piece about the Circle of Light. Let’s begin with Melanie’s words in a tweet this morning:
Good friends can come together to form a #CircleOfLight. Picture a circle of people holding hands & connected together to give strength & support to someone in the centre who is feeling low. The person in the middle changes depending on who needs the most light! #StarfishClub
Today’s post is dedicated to Melanie, for the inspiration, and as a thank you for being such a superb friend. I am proud of you and honoured to know you, I’ve got your back.
We have been discussing in recent days how, naturally, when a member of our circle of friends is in need of help, support, an ear, a shoulder, a healing touch, or love, that we all gather around that person, and the light grows in strength to support that member of the circle whose light has dimmed temporarily. It demonstrates that connection that we have with each other. We gather and stay with the part of our circle until their light is shining brightly again, only then do we all continue on our pathways. It is not something you can read in a book, learn in a classroom, or be taught how to do, it comes to you naturally.
As Melanie and I delved further into this topic last night, I was reminded so much of something I had first encountered around 30 years ago, “The Goose Story”. I don’t have occasion to bring it up all that often, but, in this case, it seemed to be so perfect for the conversation we were engaged in. I have included it with today’s post so you can pick the relevant points from it as well.
Let’s have a look at a few examples which may illustrate this clearly for you, dear reader.
One group, there are four of us, I call us the Fierce Female Foursome. One of our group recently experienced the sudden death of an extended family member, and she was absolutely devastated. Nobody needed to say a word, we were her circle of light, we joined together and supported, listened, cried with, spent time with, and did everything we could for a week until her light was shining bright again. In fact, bright enough to take a huge step into the unknown and take a chance at something entirely new for her (I will tell you that story in another post). And while we were her circle of light, we also supported each other to maintain the circle. My own sister, Natalie, sent me a message, a reminder that she had my back and was my support while I was supporting the circle. Once all lights were equally bright, we went back to our usual lives and routines, but aware, that when needed, that circle will instantly form around who needs the light.
Another group, we are truly soul sisters. Take three women, all who battle PTSD daily, and all of us are high level Empaths. There are days that we don’t need electronic communications, we just feel it instantly when one of our group is off. Two of us had known for a while that our third member had been struggling, and was really up against it in recent weeks. Now, if you were to ask her, she would paste on her mask, give you a toothy grin, and tell you, everything is great. We knew differently. We had been discussing how best to support her, and it finally hit a point when we were both hit with a wave of overwhelming sadness coming from our third. We created a story to make sure she would be home the next day, and cleared everything off of our schedules, got in the car and drove up there. She only knew a package of self-care items was coming and she needed to be there to receive the package.
We were the package, the delivery company, and more. In that first moment when she saw us, let out this teeny tiny squeal and launched herself at us and wrapped us both up in a hug; she knew we were her circle of light. There was love, hugs, conversations, coffee, lunch, more conversations, a few tears, more hugs, dinner, coffee, conversation and laughter, and an overflowing amount of love that was present throughout that day and beyond. By the time we had left to drive home, we both agreed, her light was shining brightly again, but we are keeping our circle around her, we just have a feeling that we have more love and support to give, we are not done yet, and we are both honoured to be able to provide the support. This is not a temporary thing, not a fleeting moment, it is a lifetime commitment to be there for each other. And how do we know as much as we do? Because we all do the exact same things, the same coping strategies, etc. We either do it, or have done it, and with two of us, we don’t hesitate to call each other on it when we see we are falling back into old habits again, once we have our third soul sister shining brightly and steadily, then we will re-form our circle, ready to step in and support again as soon as one of our group needs us.
Over the past week or two, three friends, all teachers, have experienced a loss. One was a sudden death due to unknown medical complications, the other two were students claimed suddenly by suicide. For all three, we combined circles to support them with a circle of light. Whether just for a day, or for a week, we merged our circles into one large circle to support all three until their lights could once again shine brightly.
It’s not always the same person who is surrounded by the circle of light from their friends either. As people encounter moments of struggle, the circle re-forms around that person until their light can shine brightly again. It is a constantly shifting and changing form, but the light remains steady.
Who in your life can you be part of the circle of light for? Have you noticed times when without asking, your friends surround you and support you and lift you up when you fall. You may not even be conscious of it, but when you get to the other side of a struggle, you notice, you were not alone.
That circle of light, that support of the other people in your circles of friends, the world definitely needs more of that, every moment of every day. It is a major message in our mental health advocacy work, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
And, if we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that, always and forever. Remember the three most important words spoken (after “I love you”) are always “I’ve got you.”
Be good to each other, stay safe, and let your light shine, kittens!!
Love, sunbeams, and kitten dreams.
Christine (CityMom) 💙💙
The Goose Story
Next fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying along in a V formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way: as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.
If we have as much sense as a goose; we will say in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.
When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs with people or with geese flying south.
Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
What do we say when we honk from behind?
Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation, two other geese fall our with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.
If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.
— based on the work of Milton Olsen