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the measure of a human: when loving flowers was enough

Once upon a time, when we were young, what was liked was enough to define us. People would ask how old we were and then they would ask what we liked. Daisies, tv shows about builders, spinning in circles, slides, our parents, our siblings, cars and planes and trains.

These were the things we loved. These were the answers we gave. These were the things people talked about when they talked about us. .

Then we grew up, and the questions started changing. Now we were asked what we were doing, what we were accomplishing. Had we gone to college? Gotten married? Had kids? Good career?

So we started to do that too. We started defining ourselves by what we were doing.  There is a moment in life when loving flowers is no longer enough, you have to be a gardener. Continue reading “the measure of a human: when loving flowers was enough”

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broken and okay, mountains that don't move

come sit with me in shadows (bearing witness to silent pain)

come sit with me in shadows

Come sit with me in shadows, I can’t bear the light today.

The light’s a mockery, a mirage, it moves each time I get close. I don’t want to chase the light today.  Today I’m sitting in the shadows, and I need someone who will come and sit with me.

I need someone who won’t try to fix this unfixable thing. Someone who won’t tell me how the light means everything happens for a reason. Sometimes there is no reason.

I don’t need to hear about the light right now. I know the light exists. We all know the light exists. But here in this moment I don’t think the light can reach me. I know the light can’t reach me. And I need you to be okay with that.

I need someone who can sit beside me and bear witness to my pain. Not tell me I shouldn’t feel it. Not try to tell me it will be okay. Not today. Today I need someone to sit with me in shadows,  it’s the only place that I can be.

………………..

{{This is the post I tried to write all year. Shadows come and go. In this moment the light can reach me. That doesn’t mean the shadows weren’t real or that I won’t sit in them again. But when you’re in the shadows it’s hard to write exactly how that feels.

So today I write for myself but also for anyone who sits in shadows. Friends whose hearts can’t be all merriness and light this Christmas. I write because I want you to know you’re not alone. I write because I hope a friend can come and sit with you today.}}

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maybe we should stop thinking we’re awesome just because we love people we consider different than us

I read another article a few weeks ago. By a white woman. She spoke, in lavish and poetic detail about the people she saw around her. Carefully pointing out all the ways they were different from her. Mostly skin color. And age. And then she spoke of smiling at a Muslim woman just after the world learned of the horror in Paris. She smiled. She loved. And somehow I got the feeling this was meant to be inspirational.

That article is the one that sent me over the edge but these articles are all over. Humans loving other humans who are “nothing like them” and then expounding on how wonderful they are for being able to do that. People who are differently-abled than themselves. Different race. Different religion. Different economic status. God is often praised for giving them this ability.

Newsflash: This isn’t a superpower. You were not bitten by an empathy-spider. This is basic, decent human-ship.

Maybe the real problem in the world is that we think this is special. That we think loving people we consider different from us is something so outside of nature’s laws it needs to be applauded.  It shouldn’t need to be. It should just be… normal. And if it isn’t. Somehow it’s become something to be praised and fawned over.

Love is special. Love is sacred. Love is magic. Love is the greatest power the universe holds.

But giving love to someone who you think of as an “other”? That isn’t special. And if we quit thinking it was maybe we could spend more time wondering why we think it should be harder to love those who “aren’t like us.” Maybe we could really look internally and admit that yes, we have internal biases. We have prejudices. We have things that are not lovely in there.

And then we could change them. Because you can. You can change those biases, but ONLY once you admit they are there. Like all problems you can only find a solution once you admit that yes, you have a problem.

If the world was a house and that house had a leaky roof and we went around pointing out that WE WERE CLEANING UP THE WATER and that made us amazing then when would we have time to actually get up on the roof, find the problem, and fix it?

Maybe Chicken Little was right. Maybe the sky is falling. But who cares about that when we can point out how much we care about the pieces

maybe loving people we think of as different than us really isn't that newsworthy

And I am absolutely  sure you could scour my blog and find me guilty of this somewhere. I’ll probably be guilty of it in the future.  But if faced with that truth I hope I can be human enough to admit it, own up to it, and change it.

 

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{{Comments are disabled on my blog. You are welcome to email me at wymsel@live.com

This is for multiple reasons: Positive comments freak me out. Negative comments freak me out. Those are things I’m sure I should work through in therapy. I hope to once I get through my 25.5 more pressing issues. But honestly the biggest reason is I feel responsible for anything that happens within a comment section. If someone posts something about agreeing with me but then adds their own spin on it I feel compelled to say “I’m glad you like it but that’s not what I really said and in fact I disagree with you” and that’s kind of obnoxious. And then sometimes people do it to each other which is even worse. So I disabled them. But I’m grateful for every email I’ve received. Even (usually, kind of) the negative ones. So that’s how it is and thanks for reading anyway.}}