Memories. That’s what self-discovery means to me. And i have far too many painful memories to want to stay there for very long. So i go there once in a while to see if anything is too far out of place. Nope. Good. Move along.
I am not unique in that way. We all have painful memories. Memories that hang around like so much clutter. And you may be a little pissed that i reminded you of painful stuff you thought was gone. For at least a little while, you may have had relief. My bad. Sorry.
i read this somewhere and copied it, but have no reference point, so i hope FML is initials and not short form for something inappropriate:
Today, I’m taking care of the family house, as my parents died last month. Having spent 3 days manually raking the lawn, I was looking for tarps to help me move the leaf piles. I found the tarps covering a leaf blower. FML”
Tarps covering a leaf blower. Yeah. That blew my mind too. That is how my mind works. i have all sorts of good, noble, healthy (fill in your own positive word) stuff inside me. Stuff that would be helpful to me and make life easier. But it is all under a tarp.
I am talking about seriously great stuff. Inside you and inside me. But you may be like me and have a difficult time acknowledging that “stuff” even exists.
How can it? i am so damaged and fucked up. How can there be anything good in there? And, if you are like me, you can get mired down by your own negativity and that reinforces unhealthy thought patterns and coping mechanisms. And that confuses us and hinders us from being genuine people. So we are someone else. Anyone else.
There i am right now. i have a lot of stuff swirling around inside. It can be confusing and upsetting. Emotions are happening to me. Powerful emotions. Notice how they are “happening to me”. Shields up! woop, woop (pretend that is the appropriate Star Trek noise).
They are attacking me from all sides. “She cannay take any more, Captain”. I am finished with the space references for now. Sometimes i am a child,
Not that i didn’t have emotions before now. Everyone has emotions, even you. But i did not share them with people around me. Why not?
Because that sharing makes me vulnerable. We know all too well- all of us– what damage people can do to us by using our vulnerabilities. We remember all the times people have used our emotions against us as weapons.
“Go ahead,” you may be saying. “do what you like, but there is not a chance in hell i am ever doing that again. I remember what happened the last time. No way am i doing that again. Ever.”
So we busy ourselves raking the lawn that is our mind. And, because we are so busy raking and tending to our emotions, we miss the tarp. The tarp.
Did you forget about the tarp? i did.
i ramble a bit. It is why i always wrote out my sermons. Kept me on track and under the time limit. Nothing worse than making a good Christian late for dinner. Grace be damned. i have a roast in the oven.
No one is saying you need to rake the whole lawn right now. I am not advising you to delve into your most painful memories and have awareness of them and address them. That is stuff best saved for a session with a trained therapist or counselor.
i am asking you to take time away from the furious raking. Put down the rake. i am asking you to look under the tarp. Damn.
There is the tarp. Do you see it? Wonder what could be under there? A tarp on the grass. Likely a lot of ucky stuff under there. Just leave it. i’ll pick it up later.
Don’t be a dick. Trust me and pick up the tarp, because under the tarp is help. That is where the leaf blower resides. A tool that will help me and save me from wasting a lot of time pissing around raking the lawn…tending to my emotions. And missing what is under the tarp.
i assume there is crap under the tarp because everything else in here feels like crap. Leaves everywhere and no one to help. Anytime now, the wind will begin to gust. What will i do?
Rake, rake, rake. Worry, worry, worry. Fume, fume, fume. That is all i have been doing for long years. Suppressing. And, in the process, i stopped growing. i lost sight of all my strengths because i could not face my weaknesses.
i lost my spirituality. No kidding. Lost my faith in the Church. Lost my faith in other people. Began to see nothing but negatively as far as religion went. Threw the baby out with the bathwater, however. I know I don’t need Church or even someone else’s image of God. But i continue to need the spiritual side of life. I am, quite honestly, lost without some sense of spirituality.
But instead of using my strengths, i put them away. i let anger and fear and other negative emotions give me peace and comfort. Not being hard on myself here. Please do not try to comfort me, for comfort right now may remove me from my healing processes.
Under the tarp. That is where help lies. There are tools there to help. No matter how life has treated you, you have strengths. You just cannot see them right now. It has taken me time to lift the tarp, but i now realize i have strengths and tools (internal tools) i can access to help me.
i know how to mediate, for example. i’ve done yoga before and know how to control breathing, so that is a strength. It was under the tarp. Feeling so beat up i forgot. Raking the lawn, you know.
So i have begun to pay closer attention to my breathing. Deep breathing. Stop raking John. Breathe and feel the strength drawn from those breaths. And for a short time i feel strong and i can deal with some of the things inside. Not all of them, of course, and certainly not at the same time.
Why am i fighting with leaves, anyway.? i have a leaf blower that will make short work of this. i can use that time and energy i save and meditate upon other strengths. i can consider stuff because i am taking time and energy to do the most important things. Usually.
Today is difficult and i do not know why. i was in town and triggered and a whole ton of emotion hit me clear out of the blue. Emotion. So i started raking. And raking. And by the time i got home i was exhausted.
And i felt like i was at the beginning again. Why would i tell you about this? For two reasons. Number one: i told you i would be honest and my sense of integrity demands it. Number two: so you don’t read these blogs and think, “Wow. This guy really has it together. He should come speak at our next ice cream social.”
i know. There are no more ice cream socials. i am old, i hate commercials (except football commercials), and i do not get out a lot. If there are no more ice cream socials, there should be. i digress.
i digress because i hate feeling this way. i do not like all this emotion and it pours from me now like a broken faucet. i feel like i have a gut wound and all the morphine in the world is not going to ease the pain.
So, no, i do not have it all together. Just trying to work on my journey and hopefully help someone else along the way. Writing this stuff helps me calm the sweeping and helps me to focus on my strengths and supports.
Thanks for coming along for the ride.
Look under the tarp.
John the Bleeder