Just Life: Varieties of Personal Experience.
So many of us go through life with parts of ourselves we fear are lacking or in need of change. Anxiety, OCD, phobias, aversions, some of which are more obvious or more severe than others, many of which we try to keep hidden from even our closest companions. The range, the spectrum, of such difficulties are vast. What is new to me is the awareness of how very human these “faults” are, how they have been formed from the experience we have from being or growing in this life (or last). I believe we fail to honor ourselves and our own pasts when we fail, in one way or another, to acknowledge them. I believe powerful healing comes from not only acknowledging these things but embracing them while we attempt to use understanding, knowledge, and awareness to overcome the limitations they place on our lives.
New to me is when evidence of such traits or habits or aversions become known, when my own reaction, which once would have been critical (caught as I was in faulting myself for my own versions), I now find endearing, as evidence of human struggle, of an awareness that these things add to the complexity in the person who has let them be shown. It is easier to find compassion when these things are given light, air, and descriptive words, when a person enters therapy showing evidence of willingness to dig into pain to grow beyond and, by that means, expanding his or her life. When such traits are allowed description, in personal writings or in conversation, I am honored to become a holder of such information, honored to share in the process of the unfolding, grateful for the courage of the individual to embark on the journey of discovery.
What has now become evident to me is that what is most negative or difficult is not the individual who suffers these human twists and turns, but the individual who thinks of himself or herself as a superior being because they don’t possess such traits or weaknesses. Beware! This is the faulted being. Condescension alone is a powerful clue that something is amiss. When an individual goes out of his or her way to point out faults in others it is a reason to turn away or to make clear by your words or your silence (whatever is appropriate) to give indication or evidence that such behavior is not to be tolerated. This work may be quiet or actively participatory, whatever works best to contrast rather than support such destructive, ignorant behavior.
What binds us to one another is recognition and, perhaps if we are able, support and caring. Each of us is a version of a flawed being or a whole being. Our weaknesses are evidence of making a life with these traits, using them as a guide to find and repair what feels like imperfection. Thus we grow. Therein lies the true beauty of our humanness.
Note: In honor of Carolyn whose birthday was today. Blessings and thanks to her wherever she has gone or whomever or whatever she has become.