Saturday, September 17, 2011
It has been a tumultuous time lately. School has started, so there's the daily crunch of papers and lesson plans and trying to figure out how to make sense to classrooms full of different types of learners, many of whom aren't prepared for college level work. Relationships in my life are also changing, as they tend to do over time, or presenting new challenges. One friend recently had a biopsy on a lump that turned out to be benign--thank goodness. I never really know how much things like that stress me out until I feel the profound flood of relief afterwards. I have another friend who has broken up with a long-term partner and is consequently doing what most people do in a situation like that: rebounding, bouncing around and shifting, trying to find where she fits now in the world, and, empath that I am, I think I feel every jump and shift she makes. I get floods of sorrow, fits of anger, glimmers of hope, then blocked frustration. She speaks of feeling exhausted, and I get it. Chelle and I are also grappling with an issue that has taken us into couples' counseling (no worries, it's not a "deal breaker" kind of situation--it's just something we both need help in understanding about the other. Thank goodness neither of us is totally hard-headed and we are coming at the problem from a place of love.)
But in the tumult, I feel lost sometimes. I haven't mastered the art of separating myself from other people's stuff. I find myself mentally pushing back and needing space, and then feeling like a bad friend or a selfish partner. At some deep level, I think I'm worried or I fear that maybe I really am not all that. Maybe I still am the confused, fucked up person I was when I was drinking; maybe the only difference is the way in which I'm fucked up.
So yesterday I decided it was time to be still.
And the words from others started coming in. The love started coming in. I didn't ask; I was just finally still so I could listen. A person shared a quote. A new friend called me "awesome" several times. Another person remarked about how my gratefulness about my recovery makes her happy. I came across a paper in the stack with a appreciative note attached from a student. Chelle stopped me in the kitchen and put her arms around me and gave me a long hug, resting her chin on my shoulder.
It occurs to me that this kind of love is always here for me. I just forget sometimes to notice it.