It was about 9 o’clock Saturday morning when I finally gave up. I was sick of the opposition, sick of being positive in the face of adversity, sick of trying, sick of doing excellent work that was cutting edge and visionary for like no pay, sick of the arrogance of others, sick of being stuck, sick of life being hard, sick of watching people who’s moral compass definitely was not pointing due north getting ahead materialistically, sick of bearing the weight of other people’s woundedness.
I have worked very hard to heal from abuse in my childhood, and as a disabled person fight for physical life everyday. Suicide is never an option. Only once in the late 1990’s did the thought even glance through my heart. It lasted about thirty seconds.
No, when I give up I indulge myself in pleasures I otherwise limit or deny myself. I spent my last twenty dollars on chocolate, kettle chips , a $3 movie rental, a gallon of milk and five avocados a large package of cheese and crackers sandwiches, and a package of chocolate covered peanut butter graham crackerd.
Then I binged on “The Mindy Project”, and Tetris, Facebook and sleep. I made it all the way through season one and half of season two,and scored 200,930 on Tetris level two, using one touch, got completely caught up on sleep, AND managed to consume everything plus some pasta salad with hardboiled egg without gaining one ounce.
Failure was the only thing standing between dreams and reality. I admitted defeat. The grand experiment was a failure. It was not possible to become financially independent as a single woman without the protection of a partner in love, and the approval of men. Being honest, nice, and cheerful, hardworking, willing to do anything wasn’t going to get me squat.
To be successful you had to have the protection, approval and assistance of men, double deal, be a jerk, be religious but keep faith out of it, and lie. Oh yea...way beyond self pity into the land of downright cynicism.
One summer I worked in this terribly trendy church and my oldest son leaned in close to me at a potluck and said, “Mom, be careful. These are upper middle class white people. They stab each other in the back to get ahead”. You know the sad thing? It’s actually true. Oh and get this. If you actually pull the knife out of your back and show it to them, they plead victimization. I frequently hate being white.
In between bites of sugar and salt--maybe it was the skim milk I swilled that prevented any weight gain-- I cried endless tears. Not since my ex got married one month after our divorce was final or I let true love slip away the summer of 2005 have so many liquid portions streamed from my eyes.
By Sunday afternoon I decided to cook again and eat healthier food. I started munching on the sunflower seeds meant for the salad for the dinner party I had to cancel because I was solving the problem that started the whole mess.
Someone wrote a response to a FB posting I wrote about peak days and valley days. .”You should collect these and put them in a book” (about being positive.)
I began to count my treasury again: things I have money can’t buy. I like myself. I’m honest so I don’t spend anytime with pretense. I can do negative feelings and let them run their course. I know how to nurture myself during down days. I can feel pain and breath my way through it. One of my parent clients wrote to me.”We miss you. You are a force for good in our children’s lives” The positives were gathering force.
The only thing I didn’t have was lots of money and a job with prestige. Big deal. Money will come. Prestige is vanity, an illusion.
Taking the time to stop and feel will boomerang into new strength, vision and enthusiasm. I don’t power through. The show doesn’t have to go on. And, unlike so much of my childhood and young adulthood, I can blubber real tears until my face and clothes are completely wet. That’s a gift.
When I rise, my spirit is clear, my present is au courant. Joy is genuine and happiness returns.
If all the world would learn to feel and stop to do so we would have world peace. It is the missing link.
True. Really. Stop. Feel.