Yesterday I was smote down by some tummy bug. It made itself known mid-darkness and remained for the day. Although I am a welcomer of all things, including side-swipers knowing, as I do that life will bring them in whether I want them or not, I did find my welcome note was definitely off key. We were never going to sing our time in harmony. Okay, let’s find another way to deal with this. I accept you have invaded my body, my thoughts and my equilibrium, so I will go with you this day. Ultimately it will be you who leaves, not me. I am more than you, trust me on that.
I slept a lot in between chilly forays down the stairs to re-jig the logs into merry fire, sipped water and listened to an audio book. I watched the rain turn to soggy snow, whirling like smoke passed my big bedroom window. I saw gulls fighting for balance in the gusts of cold and wet and I felt my thankfulness muscle flex. I might be sick for a day, but out there are people who are really sick, really cold with little hope of any warmth and really alone in their lives. There are those doubting the point of their existence. Although I am fortunate enough to be loved, warmable and certain of a return to ebullient health, I am aware that my assertion of strength comes from the confidence of a woman who knows she is safe. Urging someone to see the bright side of a dire situation is not helpful. In fact, it can affirm their worst fears. What they need is understanding and empathy, a hand held out, a smile, soft words of genuine affection and care.
I know how it feels to be very depressed. I looked out at the world through blind eyes and anybody who shone a beam of light in my face would be swatted away. I wanted the world to stop spinning, so utterly pointless everything seemed. It was a long time ago, yes, but something so dark and huge makes an imprint on my heart, a big fat one. Eventually, over a long time, I found my way back, accepting help eventually, from guides who shone no beam at me. They just held out a warm hand, smiled and said Shall we walk together awhile? It took me through hestiational defences before I could trust that these guides were not out to fix me, to shape me back into the woman I was before when that woman very obviously felt she did not fit. I knew I was not prepared to oblige in such a way and what I needed was for someone to see beyond my act. We begin these acts in childhood. They are our way of coping, of fitting in, of receiving the love we crave. But, at some point, the spirit will out and shout and spill things and cause considerable harrumphing from those who think they know us. It is discombobulating for all concerned but not a condition, a scream from the inner wild, to be ignored because ignoring such blatancy leads to a long lonely walk into the abyss.
Perhaps this is why I treasure life in my older years. Perhaps, having been that lonely walker, finding empathetic guides to walk with me out of it, I have raised up my inner child, my true spirit, as my own. As I pondered all this from my sick bed, I felt a song of thankfulness ring in my ears. Now I can say I am more than this, more than this bug, more than those old conditions and rules, and how is that?
I have learned to love myself, the woman I am. I have learned, after fighting for her in all the wrong ways at all the wrong times, that she is a strong and beautiful soul and so very deserving of my full attention. Nobody else gave her that, but I can and I do. If you know what I am writing about here, or know of someone who would, please forward this on. Lonely is okay in bits, now and then but it can consume a person, swallow them up and disappear them for ever.
Let’s be guides, not fixers.