Trust Life's Unfolding

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By Cheryl Lewis, eClubSoda member since 2003.

I began to eye the clock an hour ...tickticktick... before it was time.

On Mondays, it took a little extra scrambling, because the passcode for our daily teleconference calls changed at the onset of each workweek and I had to go online to retrieve it. After that, it was simple. On the few occasions that five thirty neared and I had no code, I became anxious and, yes, even frantic.

It wasn’t a job, mind you, that I was afraid of risking. It was my life.

At times, I never even spoke for the duration of the call. On other nights, I merely announced my presence and then listened for an hour and a quarter. There were times when I eagerly waited for a pause so I could jump in with my own set of urgent circumstances. More frequently, I waited, hoping that someone else would need to speak and relieve me of my conviction to ask for help. Somehow, it all balanced out.

The call is called HappyHour and, for nearly two years, I dialed in daily for an hour and 15 minutes.

I wasn’t a drinker, though the title suggests that weakness’ remedy. The founder of the call is a recovering alcoholic. Once you got to know Nan, you’d learn she was a chocoholic, too. And, truth be told, an ice creamaholic. You had to like her for that.

You grew to love her for reasons far wider reaching.

My marriage ended about the time that she launched the call. Frankly, when she told me about its premise, even though I was an emotional wreck, I just didn’t see how I could participate. Take over an hour to listen out of the end of each workday, just as I was settling into my role as international communications manager for a major manufacturing company, to be on a private call?

Not an option.

Still, I was intrigued. Her counseling was already transforming my understanding of my choices and my respect for her was immense. Though I took the chicken way out and told others I was functioning as a mentor on the call – lending my life experience to help others grow – the fact was that I was a basket case and needed recovery. Cherly_Lewis

Renovation, even. 

But in some ways it WAS true that I was mentoring. It’s what each of the dozens of us on the call did, in reality. We shared who we were and what we were experiencing, exposing ourselves in an environment of utter transparency, and then grew in front of each other. We learned to shed our secrets and to risk what that would mean. We learned, one by one and all together, to trust life’s unfolding.

The callers didn’t know each other at first. We soon learned that we represented many of the states in our nation and a couple of other countries as well. I thought I had a time challenge, but it must surely have been interesting for the woman who called in from London, since her time zone left her in the midst of our conversations past midnight. I soon understood why she didn’t want to miss it.

There is something for everyone, no matter the brand of hurting.

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