Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Into the Fire

2016 was largely a shitstorm of a year.
So many good people in our culture died.
I learned the hard way what financial abuse is, and the high price of standing up for yourself. I made the decision I would pay any amount to be free of any abuser and that I have earned the right to stand up for myself, and it sure beats trigger-ridden reactivity.
I got my heart broke, really good and broke, for the first time since my divorce.
I rode this shitty rollercoaster through so many tears and a commitment to grief, because, when life sucks, you grieve, and your passion dictates that when you grieve, you do it with gusto and commitment.
So I grieved and grieved and totally got lost and found over and over.
I took seriously Walter Wink's suggestion to "pray for an oppressor's transformation". Man, I prayed and prayed, and did all the things on that list and do you know not one oppressor has transformed. So I keep reminding myself, "they aren't capable, they aren't capable, they aren't capable." I have to give them over to God, who is more talented than I am in moving people.
I recalled a verse from the Calendar of the Soul that speaks of "wings being lamed by hope." Oh, so much hope came my boatloads of grace and gratitude. I truly made the soul transformations out of my circumstances and out of this shitty year. But I got tired of hoping. And grieving. And doing the difficult rituals around spiritual alchemy...of transforming pain into something good.
My hope and subsequent disappointment didn't just happen with oppressors, it happened with many people who just didn't get it, who rejoiced in others doing the wrong thing, and who, given opportunities to do the right thing, turned their snubby noses into the air and went back to being hypocrites. Just when I hope someone is going to be good, they show me how ugly they can be. The election was sad. Online dating was sad. Everything was sad. I can hear Charlie Brown's pitiful voice clarifying this sadness.
I got sad at seeing other people break up, have cancer, deaths of loved ones, struggles with mental illness, struggles with health, struggles with patriarchy. I got pissed off at male role dominance and how it is played out over and over and over ad nauseum.
I constantly felt like I was in Seinfeld's upside down land...remember that episode?
Nothing made sense. It wasn't logical. It was really weird and just downright hurtful.
I felt powerless to change any of this. I wanted to crawl into a hole and at three nodal points in the year, I definitely crawled into a hole and suffered. BIG time. I hope any oppressors that read this and work so hard for my suffering are happy and satisfied reading that. You may gloat even more now.
I'm not a fighter but I was forced into fighting by fighters who don't fight fair. Bullies.
I am measuring out this shitty year and trying to look at all the ugliness that happened and balance it with some good.
And the good is absolutely there. I grew closer to a friend who is very, very dear to me. I met kind men along the way who made sure I knew when I was witnessing asshole behavior and they helped me keep it real. I maintained a 4.0 and will be graduating in 2017, something that makes me, a person who has done everything backwards, tear up with sadness and pride. I "became" a writer and have been published at least twice this year. I became stronger in my convictions about what is right, and I have education to thank for that. I started painting again. I wrote songs on the piano.I helped people find their singing voice. I helped children and deepened my love for them. I became more humble and grateful. God put just the right people in front of  me. I am proud of my children. I grew in courage, the courage to speak up, and the courage to heal. I opened up, cracked up, and was able to peek out of the rubble of my life. I have been loved silly by the few close people in my life I can lean on and trust. I have loved them silly and again and again, I come out grateful.
So maybe it was just another year, but I'd have to say this one ranks high in the Utter Bullshit Factor. High in Royally Fucked Up. Despite all this, I have my sanity, I have ideas for writing, painting, making, and ways to contribute to my Freedom Fund.
Last year, I threw "fear" into the fire. I would be fearless when faced with love, hope, abusers, suffering, trials-at least, I thought. I think my brain was addled by infatuation. What happened is that my courage was severely tested and I was given more than I thought I could handle at times. Eventually, most of what abusers did went into the "Seriously, dude???" file. The capacity of human beings to be self-deceptive and shitty only fueled my determination to be self-aware and kind. And to take no shit.
This post is from Cynicism Central, the well-earned kind of cynicism, the kind that forces you to choose. I choose HOPE.
I'm throwing all this bullshit on the fire. Letting it go. Making room for the good. Hello 2017 and happy solstice. May 2017 burn so hot that all that is 2016-fucked-up steams away.

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