I don’t know about you, but today friends I am tired of feeling vulnerable. Maybe I need a day off of emotional bravery.
I feel kind of suspended. The innermost part of me, the one I have forged a deep abiding love and loyalty to over the years is patiently waiting for care-giving me to come to her senses and counsel her. She needs to hear that she has made some incredibly brave choices, and taken some unfathomable risks. And that they were hard and brave because she didn’t get to look good to the world for them. Because she had to give up control, of her environment, of others’ judgment and of her own. She needs someone to hug her and say, fuck I am proud of you for that.
But I don’t want to. I am hurt and angry that I am being judged by people I love. And I don’t want to play. I want to fix the outside right now. I want to scrub floors and paint and spend money and make the exterior of my world into a glossy Pinterest perfection. I want to run twenty miles (it’s important not to use metric when being dramatic because it feels less dramatic), get some Botox and I want to work a few more hours a day, I want to fire up some Eye of the Tiger and pull a full before and after life makeover, until I am perfect in all of those areas in which I have given up perfection. I want to time lapse photography, movie montage the shit out of my transformation and arrive in an hour and fifty five minutes at the top of the goddamned box office.
Do I know that you don’t feel judged unless you’re judging yourself? Hell yes. I know it.
Do I know that at the end of the film the innermost me will still be waiting for the hug? Yep.
Blah blah woopty do.
Should the curator walk into your life and proclaim you a genius, and direct everyone to revere your life’s work, to clean up the paint splatters and wash your brushes and bring you tea?
Rather than the inspector walking in and after you just gave up all the shit you were working so hard to solve because you were needed somewhere else, like really life and death needed and then calling you a low rent messy bitch—
WOULDN’T THAT BE NICE?
But guess what I have learned?
I am the curator.
I think some folks live in a blaze of glory. They have an audience or enough “credit in the straight world” to reference Courtney Love, which is about how I am feeling about both my Covid fashion and my yard right now, that they just forgive themselves their shortcomings.
But then there are those of us no one else is going to see, or validate or recognize or clap for. And that can be a tough row to hoe and a jagged pill to swallow, especially if you are trying to swallow the pill while hoeing the row and also talking on the phone.
Today I just want to throw it at the pavement. I am tired.
I have a loved one who is in crisis. A Covid casualty, not because she contracted Coronavirus. But because she was already MAXED OUT by life and Covid just ripped away everything that made her able to cope and pushed her past her mental limits.
And I am sad.
And I feel misunderstood.
And like no one will ever truly see me or know me.
Even if I’m like highlighting an Erin map with a colour coded legend.
I am sharing this because I know I am in your ear all of the time, helping you cross that bridge to your needful self.
Helping you elbow the inspector HARD in the ribs and bring in the curator.
But I want you to know that I get it. I get how it feels.
And it’s okay if you need a day off, to just tell everyone to go to hell.
The truth is that I leave diet Coke bottles lying around the house. When I work and create I am a thousand percent focused to the exclusion of all else. And then when I want to run around and clean and polish because I REALLY like clean and pretty, someone needs something from me that I value more, OR, there is more work or I eventually need a break and I choose that, to see a person I care about, to get some sun, and here it is friends, sometimes I can’t get to back to the rest. The bottles just sit there. For whole days.
I file my taxes late and I am painfully necessarily optimistic about how much time things will take to a fault because I lovingly want to do ALL THE THINGS FOR YOU, and I want to squeeze every drop of joy out of life. And I don’t hire a housekeeper because I used to be one in University and I am really good at it so I feel I should be able to do it myself but also because I have people who need extra care and that care is just expensive. And I really want to delegate, but in the year 1342 I forgot to plan ahead and so the only one who really has the emotional bandwidth to be my support staff is Juno, and she is a 71 pound Border Collie Pyrenees who would be happy to clean out the summer crap from my van including her own hair, but she is short some opposable thumbs.
In the middle of all of this pandemic madness, I whipped up a class for some of my gals who were super isolated and needed to be grounded in something more than their daily challenges. It was a heart smart choice for me. Last week we did this “flower reading” exercise, and it was truly wildly magical. The gist is that we all blindly chose a flower and let it soak up our vibes and then we read each others’. We had an outside person run it so that no one knew whose flower they were reading. So here’s the funny part. All of the flowers were these gorgeous white Roses with billowing petals, fuschia Peonies in full bloom, sun drenched Daisies in bold yellow, very Pinterest worthy. Except mine. I don’t know why I chose the flower I did, but it was from my Mother’s Day bouquet, and it was a little Mum, a white one that was hidden behind the rest. It was quiet and soft and had wisps of petals that were a bit wilted. It sat on my bedside for two days, while I struggled to help my person out of crisis and dreamed of vacuuming the carpets that it’s no secret I wish to light on fire. And my reading, by someone who was very worried she would have no insight to share because she has a scientific mind, told me (again she didn’t know whose flower she was reading) that my Mum was pure and fragile, overlooked and intimidated by its environment, and that its vulnerabilities were truly its strengths. So I am just going to take a moment to say, Wow. If you don’t think you have an intuitive bone in your body think again. Because that message hit home.
On the other side of this bridge to our needful self it’s really all quite beautiful.
We can be fragile, delicate, soft, ethereal and somehow protected.
We can allow ourselves to make quietly heroic choices.
We can be seen.
The truth is that no one MADE me feel this way. It’s no one’s fault. I made choices and I would make them again. I would choose love over order and love over money and wish that it didn’t have to be a choice and work for a world in which it didn’t have to be a choice, but in the meantime, I would prioritize love, and blind faith and then get busy forgiving the fall out.
So when I get up out of the cold grass and find the courage to cross over that bridge, maybe around five pm today, or after a Forest Gump long kind of run, I will forgive all pain and the ideas that I am not enough, again.
Maybe have a picnic.
When you feel up to it, I would love you to join.
You bring the napkins, I’ll spill the wine.
P.S. You’ve been asking me how to get your friends and loved ones the help I’ve been able to give you. We can do that. Contact me and we’ll talk details.
P.P.S. If you would like me to give a talk or teach a workshop to your group or at your special event I am happy to help. Contact me here and we’ll chat about it.
P.P.P.S One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.