As a vocalist, I often have a song running through my head. I’m that person who responds to others with a lyric from a familiar song. It has driven my kids crazy for over twenty years. Much to their dismay, they find themselves doing the same.
The chorus I sing with sings a barbershop arrangement of Lean on Me by Bill Withers. It has been running through my head all day. Even during meditation breaks, I had to just let myself have the earworm in there. I pondered what the song means and how it applies to living well with Lipedema.
This article is meant to celebrate our community and express my appreciation and gratitude for each new person I meet, and each new day I wake up to. I’m fortunate to be a part of a community that I can lean on.
Lean On Me
“Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow.
But if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.”
Tomorrow represents a new day, a fresh thought, and an openness to new ideas. It comes after a restorative rest. It’s full of light and promise. It’s a chance to start over.
“If there is a load, you have to bear,
That you can’t carry,
I’m right up the road. I’ll share your load,
If you just call me.”
Each of us has struggles in life that seem too heavy to carry by ourselves. That’s when we turn to each other to reach out for help. And those who we reach out to reach back to us. They take our hands in theirs and lift a small part of that load off of our shoulders.
Mutual Support in the Community
“You just call on me, Sister,
When you need a hand.
We all need somebody to lean on.
I just might have a problem that you’d understand.
We all need somebody to lean on.”
This support that we give one another is reciprocal. You reach out to me and I help you. I reach out to you and you help me. This reminds me of when my oldest sister was taking care of my father during his last few years of life. He had Parkinson’s. He said to her one day, “I’m sorry that I’m a burden.” My sister said to him, “You’re no more of a burden than I was as a child.” My father then understood we’re not burdens on each other, but rather the care we give those who cannot care for themselves is a loving gift of reciprocity.
The Beauty of the Lipedema Community
“Lean on me when you’re not strong,
And I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on.
For, it won’t be long
‘Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”
The beauty of the lipedema community is that at times each of us needs the strength of our friends to keep going. And we know that we have someone in this community that will step up and is there. We know there is a community we can lean on. We’ve seen this happen time and time again. We’ve seen love and compassion being expressed throughout our community. We’re all helping each other to remember that.
Thank you to each person, each feeling, each day. There are indeed abundant reasons to feel grateful for, to appreciate the beauty that exists in life!
Anything is possible with Lipedema!