How much work has your back(physical and figurative) done in your life? Mine has carried a two-year-old in a backpack across the dunes of Race Point beach. It has given too many piggy back rides to count. It has lifted each of my babies above my head. It has helped people to bathe and toilet. It has borne the weight of those walking while holding my arm. It has cleaned the kitchen and lifted countless pots of boiling pasta from the burner. It has endured the stress of parenthood and step parenthood. It has carried burdens of grief, doubt and fear. When I've feared that my heart would absolutely break, my strong back has created a space for it to rest. But resting in this way causes us to invert, literally turning our backs on community as we turn inward to deflect pain. So I'm grateful to the people who have my back. I'm thankful for old friends, family, new friends and my yoga and faith communities. I'm relieved to know that I don't need to carry everything, that there are those who will share the load.
The night we graduated, we each approached the sand mandala we were creating, and added an item we had brought. As we knelt to place a candle and our items into the mandala, one of our classmates or teachers stood behind us with arms stretched toward the sky, and spoke those words: "I've got your back". It was an intense reminder that we could always choose to be part of this community.
Who has your back? Are you willing to shift your load, sharing with those around you? Can you feel the hands of God and of those you love on your shoulders? Can you hear my voice? Because if you're reading this, I've got your back.