I’m about to get super nerdy on you for a second, but then it’ll get poetic. Bear with me, I beg of you.
According to the most popular theory, solar systems form when a cloud of gas collapses on itself until enough heat and pressure builds up to spark nuclear fusion, which marks the birth of a star. This gas cloud starts out spinning very slightly, but as it contracts, it speeds up to maintain its angular momentum. The smaller it gets, the faster it spins (think an ice skater who pulls her arms in). In fact, it contracts so much that if it tried to hold on to all the momentum, it would eventually spin itself apart.
Instead, it transfers momentum to small globs of material, which eventually form planets. Literally, the star cannot live without its companions. Though they are minuscule in comparative size, these tiny bodies keep the star from coming apart at the seams.
It’s kind of beautiful, no?
I’ve found that the same is true of people. My INFJ personality means that I try to be my own, planet-less star, in favor of taking on the momentum of others. Refusing to let people get close to me results in the constant feeling that I’m spinning so fast I might spin apart at any moment. In recent months, with trauma and loss, I’ve finally given over to the inevitability that I am not, in fact, and island. There is freedom in allowing others to share the burden. It builds new bonds and strengthens old ones, allows those around you to feel helpful and important, and relieves some of the stress of going at it alone.
On a recent weeknight, my friends Debbie and Ed had me over for dinner to fulfill a promise made months ago. After my dad died, Debbie, a long time nurse, came to me with a proposition. She knew that as I worked through my grief, there would come a day when I just needed to explode and she offered to be the bomb range when that time came. I found such freedom in discussing both the good and bad in a safe space.
Not everyone is worthy to be your companion, so discernment is key. Your star companions may even surprise you. The payoff for finding them, however, is worth the search.