So, I haven’t blogged in a long time. Not because I don’t have anything to say. Let’s be honest, I always have something to say, about everything. But life has a way of silencing even the loudest of winds that howl through the night, giving them expanses of land to spread themselves over, and eventually, they grow tired, and dissipate. While I have not withered away, I have been spread thin, in ways both magnificent (my children and friends), and in ways that leave me reeling, and maybe a bit calloused.
Also, one of the last times I blogged, I was attacked verbally, for both my words and heart. Not by an anonymous troll that I could disregard as an unfortunate soul still living in his mother’s basement, but by someone that I really care about, once again. So far, it seems that if I am going to be put down for my truths and my willingness to give voice to my vulnerabilities, it will look like friendly fire. Isn’t that so often the way, for everyone?
I am teaching my children that it is an honor to see people at their worst, it is a privilege to know someone so well that you see not only their strengths, but their weaknesses. That, no, you don’t get to tease your sister about something that embarrasses her, you get to be the one to love her through it, and make sure that there is no place for shame in her beautiful heart.
Love means protecting, and defending, and coming to the rescue, even on the darkest days of someone’s trials. It means that you have been given the gift of experiencing their truth. You get to see up close who someone really is, and you get to remind them of how wonderful they are, at the times when they forget.
But, apparently, not everyone feels that way. Sometimes, people who have been hurt, by people who are not and never will be you, walk through your life looking for tender areas to cast the stones they have been gathering, and wound you. It happens, probably to everyone. But, as big as I am, my skin is not as thick as it looks.
I read once that elephants are not really afraid of mice. That they just have extremely sensitive feet, and any small hurt can make them lose their ability to carry their own weight, and then they would be stuck in place, and devoured. They know this, and are then so careful to watch out for any twig, or any small thing that could cause their death. Mice are unpredictable, and just so quick, that the elephant forgets that they could easily crush them, and they fear them, instead.
That. That is what, almost exactly, I feel like. While this person, and the people before her, are not mice, I have found myself struck by terror. Even though I know that they aren’t right. Even though the truth could crush their lies. Even though, had they walked one minute in my giant shoes, the self-righteous scales would fall from their blinded eyes. But they haven’t, and that’s okay. But it’s still hard to put myself out there, and watch people I love not really see me, or dismiss me, and walk away.
It is a risky thing, this allowing myself to write. It is dangerous to put all your hard won truths and beliefs on the internet. It is a hard thing, to pull back the curtain on yourself, and show the world that you are not the great and powerful Oz, but a very real person who has more than their share of faults.
But, it’s time. I have to let all of that go. Put on my big girl panties, and walk through another door. We all have a story a to tell, and I believe, someone who needs to hear it, in order to give their own a better ending. It is the passing on of stories that so often breeds courage. We need to hear that Rosa Parks wouldn’t give up her seat, in order to stand for our own something. We need to know that the shy woman who looks like she has it all, has suffered unimaginable loss, and still had the resilience to move forward. That no one really has it all figured out, but that we are trying together, like a room full of toddlers,to make our actions count. That you are not alone, and neither am I. That people have gone this way before us, and smoothed the rocky terrain.
I will never scale Mount Fuji, but some part of me believes that I could, because I have heard the accounts of someone who has, and I recognize a hint of that overcoming spirit, in myself. We all have our own mountain to climb, probably a lot of them. And we need to use our voices to belay each other, with words of encouragement.
It is what makes AA work, thousands of voices of I did, so you can.
And maybe I haven’t yet, but I’m really trying. My battles are not finished, I am still in the middle of the blood-stained ground. But maybe my journals, though war-torn and angst-filled, will give one person courage to keep fighting. Even just for one day. Because joy comes in the morning.
I know that I need those reminders. I need to hear how you love your children. It scrapes the dust of their actions off of my glasses, and helps me to see them as they deserve to be seen. I need to know that you have grieved loss, like me. We are all a part of community on this earth, our stories bind us together, into one, and make us family.
That is why I am writing, still. And also, it’s cheaper than therapy.