“Express yourself completely,
then keep quiet.
Be like the forces of nature:
when it blows, there is only wind;
when it rains, there is only rain;
when the clouds pass, the sun shines through….
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.” Tao Te Ching, Chapters 43 & 48, Stephen Mitchell translation
This is where I am.
I decided years ago that I am going to be honest about my feelings, regardless of how extreme they may be. I want to work through things, not live in denial, like I see so many people doing.
The sun is passing through now. I’ve gone a few days without any new drama and it feels wonderful. Barry does not have a UTI. I am getting things done. Boredom looks like a luxury I took for granted.
One advantage of the chaos I have lived through lately is that I have had no time or energy for relationships and people that do not serve my highest good. Now that things have calmed down, for this minute at least, I am questioning whether I want to restart things with people. I have the energy, but not necessarily the willingness, to continue things. I have no stomach for games, other people’s expectations, etc. I’m done. Why would I ever want to go back? My vision is getting clarified. I am dropping so much and I finally feel honest. People may or may not like the real me, but that no longer concerns me. Knowing where not to turn in a crisis is a handy piece of knowledge in itself.
Timing and Trauma
Lately, I’ve come to realize that I can handle almost anything—just not everything simultaneously. A big tree branch fell in the backyard. Also, Barry told me he had blood in his urine earlier this week. I told him I would take him to one of those urgent care clinics if he wanted (after his doctor office had no openings) and he said no. I can’t make him go to a doctor And today he said it had gone away. He told me right before we went to bed. As if that’s what I need to think about as I try to drift off.
So I’m working at getting the tree debris removed and trying to take care of myself and run errands. In other words, I’m trying to act like a normal human being. Good luck with that, Cindy.
It made me think about the Supreme Court gay-marriage ruling about a week ago. Such a huge, monumental ruling. Or was it? By this past Wednesday, not even a week out, it no longer made the evening news. I was a little amazed. It was already old news. I almost feel sorry for Republicans because it may be impossible to maintain a high level of moral outrage for sixteen months until the general election. People will have processed the implications by then.
That’s what we all need: time to process the events of our lives. Otherwise, we are all just stuck in trauma, frozen in place. People tell me, “God never gives us more than we can handle.” What a crock! I call such platitudes “Hummel Figurine/Veggie Tales theology.” People are given more than they can handle routinely. It is practically the definition of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some people recover from PTSD; many, however, never do.
However, in our information-saturated society, ethical issues abound. Imagine managing for a company and knowing that huge changes are coming. Do you tell your subordinates everything, like ripping off a bandage and possibly traumatizing them? Or do you give them information a little at a time, giving them time to absorb it but also risking someone else telling them and possibly facing accusations of a cover-up? These choices must be made every day. We all play God with each other’s lives.
I try to look at all of this through the lens of compassion, for myself and others. I know what I can handle at a given time. I will process things one at a time because I have no choice. I am subject to the laws of physics and can only be in one place at a time, handling one issue/crisis at a time. I try to apply the same concept to others. What can they handle right now? However, being in a chronic state of crisis has dimmed my vision for others. I am barely functioning myself. I wish I were capable of more.