Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Letting it be.

I think, perhaps, it is one of our most human tendencies to not allow other people to be human.

Does that make sense?

Over the past year, I’ve been devastated, depressed, frightened, frustrated, overwhelmed, lost and lonely, but much of the time, all of these feelings are funneled through one pervasive emotion: anger.

Beginning almost immediately after Paul’s death, I lost all tolerance for human faults and foibles.

I was angry at people who said nothing.

Angry at people who said the wrong thing.

Angry because I didn’t know what the right thing would sound like if I heard it.

Angry at friends who didn’t come to his funeral.

Angry at myself for not understanding my own reaction to this loss.

Angry at strangers for not somehow telepathically comprehending the heaviness of it all.

Angry at strangers for doing totally normal, human things like forgetting to put mustard on my sandwich. 

Angry at those who asked more of me than I felt capable of giving.

Angry at anyone who seemed capable of being carefree. 

Angry at life for moving forward. 

It feels good to be angry. It's a distraction. A way to communicate with loved ones when every other thought feels too hot to the touch. “Who are you mad at today? Let’s complain to each other, let’s seethe together.” It feels substantive. It feels like release.

But that lightness doesn’t last.

As I approach the close of one year and the start of another, my hope is that I can redirect my pain toward something more productive. I don’t think it’s possible to heal, but you can soothe and treat your wound if you give it enough attention. My attention has been misdirected. And my wound is open.

I’ve been angry at everything and everyone because there is almost nowhere to put this ache. It can’t easily be buried or carried or transferred. 

It can only be sent upward.

To allow other people to be human, you have to channel the most superhuman version of yourself. And trust that others are doing the same for you... especially when you're wearing your anger on your sleeve and possibly being an irritable asshat.

You have to believe in good intentions.

You have to respect the line that now exists between you and the rest of the world and learn to walk back and forth across it with as much ease and grace as you can gather. 

You have to allow the world around you to move forward.

You have to forgive.

You have to send it up. Recognize and embrace human compassion in all forms. Go easy on yourself and others. Turn inward. Tend to this wound.

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