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  • I sat trembling.

    My focus sometimes would soften, and my vision only allowed the blurring of colors of the ground I sat on.
    Sometimes I would sharpen my gaze, and my awareness took in a circle of seven other people, all looking at me with utmost attention: Andrew, Ali, McDonald, Tom, Jon, Amjad, Marc.

    To some people, that kind of attention is intimidating. Others, excitement. There are multitudes of experiences that exist in every single human being.

    For me, I knew I couldn't hide.
    I couldn't withdraw and disassociate from my surroundings, my own feelings and thoughts.
    I couldn't push away connections without other people seeing my defenses, some of them being very ugly, like that of a caged animal.
    I was to sit in it - the sensations of Being Seen. The overwhelm of joy and pain when I am present. The vulnerability.

    And that's why I asked for it.

    What do you want from us?, Tom asked. He was trying to get me to see something.

    I already told you, I snapped. I want to sit in the sensations of not hiding!

    I get that's what you want... He gently pushed the question. What do you want from me?

    I want you to be here with me... and challenge me into staying here with you. My voice cracked. I had been crying.

    Why do I want to be here?
    I want to be more alive.

    And what am I avoiding?
    This cavern of grief that sits underneath all of these rabbit holes that my friends see on my surface.

    This grief has been left unfelt.
    It doesn't speak of sadness and darkness.
    It speaks of all the joy and praise and love of life that I am missing when I'm not here with you.
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