Sometimes you can’t go back

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Not so long ago, I ran into a person who used to be a friend of mine.  We parted ways after I grasped who this person truly was and I realized that their definition of a relationship was far from how I defined my friendships.  It was an awkward reunion, to say the least, and after the uncomfortable hug was over I left thinking about the many things that had occurred during our friendship that helped me to redefine my idea of a relationship.

I have grown up knowing that a true relationship is born of empathy and that a relationship, in its purest form, receives as much as it gives.  Thus was not the case in this instance.

It is difficult to put a relationship under a microscope and analyze the small parts that make up the sum of those parts.  In the initial stages of that friendship, the sum seemed to make complete sense, but upon further scrutiny, those parts did not add up at all.  It was easy for me to dismiss the signs that our friendship did not compute, but I was unwilling to see the failure in the equation, for whatever reason.  Seeing this person again made me realize that I was right to stand behind my feelings and although there is always the urge to keep a hold on what is familiar, sometimes you can’t go back.

I can’t forgive many of the things that happened in our past and I certainly can’t overlook that this person could never see beyond themselves to put me first, in any situation.  I can’t disregard the fact that my needs never came ahead of theirs, and I can’t ignore the numerous times that I put my needs aside to get them through their next crisis.  I wanted to move forward and so many of the parameters of our relationship needed to be redefined in order for me to do that.

I  will never be sad that I gave so much of myself in that relationship because that is who I am.  I will never regret the time I spent trying to help.  But at some point, I realized that my needs were just as important and, even though there had been many good times in our relationship, the need to move forward was more important that the urge to go back.

 

 

 

I’m not afraid to cry

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“There is a sacredness in tears – they are not the mark of weakness, but of power.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving

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Having shed my fair share of tears throughout my life, this quote struck a chord deep within my emotional register.   It has always been easy for me to soak my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it honestly.  My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched movies, TV shows and even commercials.   When my apple fell from the family tree it landed right at his feet and I’m sure that made him cry as well.

My mom was very private about her crying, although she didn’t cry frequently.  She would gracefully leave the room and gently close her bedroom door.  There were never heavy sobs heard from the other side of that door but her swollen, red eyes the next morning are what Crime Scene Investigators refer to as evidence.

Sometimes being able to cry so easily is a gift, a genuine release of emotion that feels much like a cleansing.  But the burden of  not being able to control the moments that those tears appear can also be slightly detrimental and result in swollen red eyes and a need to excuse my appearance after an unexpected cry.

 

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But, I will never take for granted this ability to show my emotion nor do I wish to change this part of myself.  I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether it be my life or somebody else’s life, can have such an intense impact on me.  And I can take solace in knowing that the people who understand this about me, the people with whom I choose to share my emotional moments, and my tears, know that this is not a weakness but one of my greatest strengths.

Freshly bathed in saline

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I am a churning pool of emotion.  I am one of those people who can put themselves in anyone’s shoes to feel the emotion that pulls on their heart-strings.  Sometimes it is a true blessing and sometimes the catastrophic emotional breakdown is embarrassing.  The control of the outpouring of tears in public has been much improved but behind closed doors all bets are off.

Empathy is a gift that I feel truly fortunate to have.  It is easy to be sympathetic and try to understand what another human being is enduring but to be able to delve into that raw emotion and feel the searing scars of that pain as if it were my own enables me to really reach out to that suffering soul and comprehend what they are going through.

That mutual experience of emotion, for me, is not strictly reserved for direct contact with another human being.  I experience the same overwhelming sensations if I am watching an emotionally charged movie, listening to beautifully composed music or reading a consuming book that drips with powerful sentiment.  Last night my face was awash with tears watching a simple television show.  I’m not sure what came over me but the story was deeply touching and as I felt the first tear caress my cheek I knew there were more to follow.

Perhaps part of my longing to write with such feeling is because I want the person reading to have the same experience I had while writing it.  I want the emotion that held my heart prisoner to be injected into the reader with the same paralyzing sensation that I so easily succumbed.  I can only hope that once my novel is complete, the characters that I birthed will be overflowing with angst, ready to cry on a whim and that I can somehow find a way to make those feelings jump off the page.

To Newtown, with love from across the border

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Senseless, targeted, horrific violence affects everyone.  It seeps into the very core of our being and floats our empathy to the surface of our emotions.  Yesterday’s devastation in Newtown affected the world.  It sank deeply into the hearts of people across the globe and left a scar that will never completely heal.

Everyone in the world wants to know why, but that is an answer that may never fully find a voice.  The news coverage is quick to remind us of many other abhorrent acts of extreme violence, but this one is the most sickening.  They were so young, barely beginning their journey in this world.  And the ones who survived will carry with them an early memory of childhood marred by true evil.

The news in Canada continues to be splashed with the images of those poor families. Many of the comments on Facebook immediately jumped to gun control, but it should go so much deeper than that. It seems nonsensical that an armed man with no real affiliation to that school should be able to walk in off the street and change the lives of so many people on a dreadfully permanent basis.  It truly will affect anyone that has a child of their own, or even a child in their lives in any facet.

The cloud of grief that blankets the small community of Newtown may never fully lift from their skies.  In time, the outpouring of love and support from their community, and the energy of that same support from all over the world will hopefully help the sun begin to warm  the cold reality that they currently face.  My heart is broken for the family and friends of the victims of this shocking catastrophe.