I know I’ve got a lot on my mind about things when I cannot decide just which Carl Jung quote I want to use as the opener for a blog post. My god, so many apply here. This move has been a full on trial by fire exposure to pathology, pathos, dementia, denial- an explosion of a million and one emotions tangled up in a pretty box with my intestinal tract for a bow.
Yeah, in short, it has just sucked, but it has also been amazing. I have seen some insane behavior in people who tout reason above all else, I have seen complete and selfless kindness from people I have never even met. I have seen denial explode in shard glass glitter and I have seen a struggle I had been actively in- from an outside perspective of having extracted myself from it. I read an email chain that made me want to vomit, when, in truth, I wanted to vomit because it was exactly the same kind of crap I would have engaged in readily. I just said no. No more. Had there been more than a shred of rational discussion in all of it: I may have contributed more than I did before bowing out. There was only one voice of reason, and I’m pretty sure it was shaky. God knows had I been him, it would have been. I didn’t envy him and I don’t envy the pain of what he is going through and will likely continue to.
And, that’s about as direct as I’ll be about the negative stuff. There are so many deeply personal facets of that particular situation- issues which really, are not mine and never were- but were sort of laid on my shoulders. My knee jerk reaction was one of defensiveness and to openly argue in my own defense, but in doing so: I would have had to reveal a couple of fairly significant personal problems someone else has and that’s not something I do anymore. The easy path, the path of least resistance is to explain, to try to let people know “my side” but truthfully? It doesn’t matter. It never did. I extracted myself from that situation completely not out of avoidance, but out of acceptance. There is nothing I can do. I allowed that to break my heart enough and I will not entertain or enable anymore. I was a little more than surprised at how quickly I came to peace with that, given my prior feelings of guilt: but years in Narcotics Anonymous drilled the Serenity Prayer into my head. It wasn’t until I read something one day while in yet another stint in rehab, ages ago, that it really hit me. The quote there, was from the Dali Lama.
Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And, from the very depths of my heart,
Respectfully hold others as superior.
From the course on Training the Mind, published in 1998. Context is here.
I’m not Buddhist, but mindfulness and meditation, looking inward, cultivating compassion and understanding rather than a number of other things- well, it pretty much saved my sanity and probably my life.
I am not living in any body making any choices, apart from the one that sits here typing. Connected, I believe, yes. I do not believe that last line means “think everyone’s better than you”. My own interpretation was: I am not better capable of making any choice for anyone than they are. It’s weird to me how something that I said every meeting and can rattle off without even struggling to bring it up from my brain didn’t sink in totally. The above quote…some deal. It took this situation to do so, and, well, I’m grateful for it. This whole inner peace thing’s a head trip. Fall down, get up. Cling, let go. Wheeee.
As for me, I’m currently sitting in my home with very little furniture, but a good start at a backyard garden already going- I’m trying to catch up on work. My toddler’s wobbling around, giggling, getting into things. My dogs are sleeping on my bed mat, safe, and in my care. (And my GOD, I could write a book on the gratitude I feel to you all. Saint Louis, you freaking ROCK. I mean, just amazing.) Our new beginning has been a bit of a bumpy one but it’s a new beginning. They’re usually explodey. Birth is pain and blood, some other cliche I forgot, yada yada. I just want to thank you all again for the safe return of my smelliest baby.