Monday, January 18, 2016

Comfort with Emptiness

There are soundtracks for break-ups, singer-songwriters who become your best friend during a divorce because they express your pain and make it beautiful, whole albums that soundtrack a tie in your life.
One such album for me was "Angel in the House". One line from the title track keeps haunting me, even to this day: "my mother moved the furniture when she no longer moved the man"
My mother took on jobs. I took on projects and jobs. I put on a pretty face. I got craft projects published in a magazine. I knitted furiously.
But none of it changed my outer circumstances. Instead of healed, it just made me busy, and added to the noise of my life the noise I created, the whirlwind tunnel I wanted to hide myself in so I did not have to face the terrible truth.
The terrible truth began with me. I thought the terrible truth was that I was not good enough, not worthy, not loved. No wonder I tried to cover up those messages with white-noise whirlwinds. 
But the deeper truth was not about me. Oh sure, I chose unwisely, and I allowed myself to become my wounds, to bare them to people who only wanted to deepen them and see me bleed. The wider truth was that in my tight circle of daily life, someone had proclaimed themselves my enemy and set out to snuff out my basic human rights and live hatred towards me while shouting love. 
This realization has stuck with me for awhile. While on the surface I have now grown past the naive belief that people are, deep down, good in their hearts, part of me still behaves as if those very people who have shown me such vitriol are capable of change and goodness. They are not, I remind myself, and kick myself when I am once again duped. I see them laughing at the prospect of causing me yet another round of pain and I shake my head.
I shake my head and turn away. I am my own refuge now. I am refuge for my children. 
"My mother moved the furniture when she no longer moved the man"
The haunting emptiness of that phrase, the longing and sorrow, the resignation to a fate not wanted...this is what I latch on to some days.
And then I realize that emptiness is good. Instead of filling my hands with busy-ness, my head with overthinking, my heart with worry and sorrow, my minutes, days, and hours with words words words, I am growing closer to emptiness. Instead of an anxious flurry, I am learning to be still. Oh sure, the grief still comes and it hurts, but I can handle it now. 
I am cultivating emptiness, and stillness, and just shutting my damned mouth for a minute or two. I need to listen to what others have to say. 
For in the emptying out, in the calming stillness, I am convinced there is deeper connection with people and life. Pain and insecurity and self-consciousness and grief can be heavy-hearted clutter. It is important to let those pleading children have your assurance that they are cared for and loved just as they are. 
Let me be myself this year. Let me be present and ever so curious about the experience of the Other. Let the wisdom that flows into my emptiness guide me. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!