I have learned a lot about life and love and relating and my own self the last 2 years. I feel at times I have been catapulted face first into the personal growth and healing and learning of 10 years in just 2. Sure, its been a lot.
And people with “a lot” just have to sit with it. Oh I get it now. I get the strong ones. I get the people that feel so heavy and weighed down and just sink low after awhile. After trying to keep their shit together and wits about them because thats who they have always been. But when it gets to be a lot and they start slipping, the pressure feels a lot like, “Nah. Nah, you of all people don’t get to slip now!”
I get it, I get the people that carry a bunch of STUFF that feels like it keeps piling on and just have to mosey onward in disorientation. Especially those that have always kept it together, they’re intelligent, “know better” people so they can’t veer too far off into the woods, people will actually notice…and be pissed! How enraging to know that the darkness has grabbed another strong one.
And I am not one of those people that other people notice are going through a really tough time, I conquer tough times. I don’t have the luxury of acting out or throwing temper tantrums or using and abusing drugs. I carry it. Been carrying it, no medication, no alcohol, just stubbornly wandering along, hoping the hurt will disappear and anything or anyone in line waiting to hurt me… dude, just surrender the effort, leave me be.
There’s really no socially acceptable way – other than medicate and/or regular therapy – to empty out all your “a lot” right? Because, don’t share it on your blog or social, eye roll… attention seeker. But don’t post anything of you having a good day because then, you’re a fraud!
So where do the truth-tellers go with their hurt lockers?
Our culture wants us truthful, but only if its convenient. Everybody has been groomed and primed to live in certain ways and in boxes to prevent themselves from even getting to that point of experiencing “a lot” — there are rules to follow and guidelines about how to make sound life decisions, right? If you would have just made better choices, if you just would have just been better about following the rulebook, you wouldn’t be sitting in all your “a lot,” now would you?
Thats how it can feel.
Especially when people start telling you the way you’re dealing with your a lot isn’t right or productive or working… (for them).
I feel that.
Listen, I didn’t realize that when you were going through a dark and depressing season you needed to wear a billboard on your chest announcing to the public of it. Or on the contrary, go into hiding until further notice.
So where do we stand, people who are monitoring how mental health is portrayed and expressed?
I guess then, I stand completely corrected… that in fact, SHAME was how we healed from things and moved productively onward. …really?…
Here’s a note to the people that think shaming yourself or others gets people to where they, I mean, you…. want and need them to be to meet a need you have:
Shame propagation is what places people and keeps people in the dark seasons.
Shame.. does.not.help. Like, ever. Not in any one instance will it be a good thing. At all. Ever.
I do know for certain I have experienced a lot of changes, big life-altering changes, I have handled them with as much intelligence and as much grace as I could produce from the confusion that I also carry. And what I am realizing is, when we are vulnerable we still have the ability to make really poor choices (wow! who knew!?). Hey, big lesson learned.
Especially about the people we choose to have close to us.
I always thought I made exceptional judgements about the people I had around me, do you relate to that?
I always thought I had a sound group of quality women who I supported and they supported me. I prided myself on who my circle consisted of, at any moment, wherever I was living.
I realize now more than ever because I am kind of still with it… having people in my life who would guilt and shame my process at all or even at this juncture (my God he’s been dead already 2.5 years, get over it. your grief isn’t that bad anymore, you act like people don’t go through stuff every day all day, move the Hell on already so we can all just go back to normal, we’re all waiting on YOU, hello??), and don’t have the capacity for grace and compassion, insist on kicking me while I am down, are not what I deserve. No one does.
I don’t recognize that as normal, anyway, and don’t want to.
Word to the widowed, grieving, or brokenhearted: you are not this moment, whatever low season you may be in, you are NOT this moment, ok?… I am still with it enough to know, this is temporary, it may feel like an eternity, it may look like an eternity to people… but this.is.temporary. What others can’t see is the solace and peace and calm you may look inward to find. People who haven’t recognized that in and of themselves won’t understand thats what you do and where you draw your strength from. Keep doing it. I’m not so far gone for that truth, my truth, to be shaken and taken from me.
Trust only those who will give you grace, show you compassion, who don’t shame you or your process …just because you’re not strong enough to just ‘get over things’ like everybody else (which, what someone means by that is, just doing enough work to get the healing process started and yourself clear of the initial surface grievances or disturbances. Truth: anyone who’s defense is to shame you for how you aren’t getting over a grievance or trauma quickly enough or to their liking, has work to do on suppressed grief or trauma themselves. Do not let that unhinge you. Do not take their advice, do not take what they say for your absolute truth).
Be kind and careful with you, your mental well being and your trust.
You may still be delicate, even on your strongest days. Grief has a weird way of making us feel the absolute best on the outside, but on the inside we just don’t know how this is all still going on. Grief confuses and abuses our own self compass.
You are worthy of grace and compassion by anyone and everyone who chooses to stand by you. Everyone is.
Here’s the truth that I do know, brokenhearted: the people in my life that I hold near and dear that have gotten me to this point of overcoming, have not been ones who have guilted me, blamed me, shamed me, or made me feel unworthy of love. Call me blessed. Yes.
No matter what I have done or said to try to make them level with me on this one and realize I am a disappointing disappointment… they aren’t buying it. No sympathies, no “aww honeys,” we don’t have time for any bullshit other than just, real, root of the root truths.
I know these are my people because I may be having a different conversation with another person but they all echo the message: “you know what your heart wants and you know what to do, I trust you will do whatever that is.” Thats all I receive from the ones who I know are truly for me and my well being. Different messengers, same message. No step by step advice, no judgement, no “well why did you do that, you knew it would turn out this way,” nothing but… yep, we see you made decisions, decisions we trusted you to make because we aren’t here to impose ourselves, values, and own lessons we must learn on how you live your life, just love you along the way as the worthy human being you were brought here to be.
Support and trust.
Thats where digging out of the darkness roots from. Thats the sustainable fuel poured on the fire that ignites rising and conquering.
My dad comes to mind. 🙂 He never makes me feel like if I don’t wrap this thing up and quick, he’s going to stop loving me because he just doesnt have the capacity in his mind and heart to watch me fall from grace…. well, who knowingly does?, but what he does have the capacity for thats bigger and more encompassing than that is: love. And that never quits. Thats an ineradicable healing force.
We love our people because we have seen and hold the truth of who they are. And the truth of everyone is: they are love.
They are my reminder of the quality of relationships I have and want and the standard by which I need to continue to hold up. That matters to me greatly because I have been changed and have overcome many moments in my life in part due to the resilient, intelligent, faithful, loyal, kind and gracious people I chose to surround myself with and walk my life with.
That matters greatly, how we relate to each other… even during our darkest days.