Thursday, January 3, 2013

Weak Things...Strong Things...All Things

Life is hard.

No really?

But life is also beautiful.

But also really REALLY hard.

So what do we do in the hard times? Well....that depends.

Some of us turn to distractions like TV, Food, Exercise, or what have you. Some of us turn inwards and retreat into the solitude of our own company until the storm passes. Some of us detach from the reality and pretend as if nothing is wrong. We continue on with our days and our lives without ever missing a beat.  Some of us are very introspective, and we when life gets hard we put our emotional minds to work in an attempt to figure out how this happened and how to best overcome it.

And some of us blog.

I've realized over this past year that this blog, and you the reader have become my soft place to land.  I know that in the name of propriety, I probably shouldn't be as candid as I am about my feelings and my struggles at times. I recognize that from a social standpoint, what I am doing is tantamount to dating suicide.  After all...what guy is going to want to date someone who airs all her mental ills in such a public fashion? Also, I suppose the possibility of being immortalized in blog form probably doesn't whip them into a dating frenzy either.

I know it is does little good to try and convince people of things they are not keen to change their minds about. But I suppose that I feel as though I would still like to try...

I would like to start by saying that I use to believe that I was the only "broken" one in this world, in my family, in my culture, and so forth. I have since come to realize that this is not true....not even a little. When I believed that I was the only "broken" one, I was afraid of sharing my true feelings because I feared that the world would see just how broken I was and I would be immediately set adrift of a slab of ice and pushed out into the dark waters of isolation.

Like I said though...I've come to realize that if I am indeed broken...then so are we all....some are just in more denial than others.

I feel it appropriate at this moment to make a point. When I say that we are all "broken" what I am NOT saying is that the world and all the inhabitants therein are merely a giant black hole of pain and dysfunction and that we would all be better off to just drink the Kool-Aide and end all of this needless suffering. FAR from it. I know people who believe that this is indeed the case, and to those people I would say that I feel like the issue here is that your expectation of the human race and how life is "suppose" to be might be a little skewed.

Is life hard at times? Certainly. Can people do horrible things? Too often it would seem. Will there always be an example you can point to about how truly awful and difficult and depressing and hopeless this life is? Yup.

But guess what? Just as with anything we observe in this world, there is always the opposite of whatever you believe to be the only way of seeing it. There are just as many examples of people doing good and wonderful and uplifting things. There is SO much beauty to go along with SO much pain.

Last night I was walking through a dark and freezing parking lot as I made my way to my car after a long day of rehearsal. I am not going to lie, the events of the past few days have taken their toll on me and all I wanted to do was get home, take a hot bath, curl up in my bed and become totally unconscious to this life and this reality. It has been unusually cold here as of late, and if you know me at all, you know that there is little else I hate more in the world than being cold. But as I cursed the weather, and the late hour, and the anticipation of the freezing drive home (my heater is a joke), I looked up to noticed that my car appeared to be literally covered in thousands of tiny diamonds. The cold air and a bit of moister had formed these brilliant little ice crystals that blanketed the top of my car. The sight of it took my breath away, and for one brief moment....I forgot myself.

God had reminded me that there was still beauty left in this world....If only I could have eyes to see it.

Often times, I feel like we let ourselves believe things that are not true. But by believing them, we make them a reality. Does that make sense?

We may believe that we are the only broken one in this world and as such we also believe that it is not OK to show the world how truly broken we are. Because of this we very often will pretend as though there is nothing broken about us... ever, and to go along with also frightens us when we see the broken in other people. It scares us because to see their broken parts is to have to acknowledge the existence of all the things that we are trying to deny about ourselves.

But in reality...we are all fragile and imperfect beings...and more than this...that we Need one another to navigate this messy existence. But what we don't need is for everyone to walk around with their fingers in their ears and their hands over their eyes pretending as though nothing is wrong.

We don't need naive and blissful ignorance, we need accepting and compassionate acknowledgement.     

We need these things because when we dismiss someone's feelings or tell them to not share because it isn't "proper" or "attractive" then we are not only deepening the wound they already have been dealt, but we are also cutting off our own legs in the process.

So what are we to do then? How are we to deal with all of the garbage and suffering we encounter?

My humble opinion is simply this....

We do not run from it.

We do not pretend like it isn't there.

We do not waste precious time talking about how it should be.

What we DO is totally and utterly acknowledge the hurt. We allow people to have their feelings in the moment they are feeling them. We take them into our arms and hold them while they weep. We tell them that it is OK to feel like the world is falling to pieces around them, because at THIS moment, it is. We don't try and logic them out of their feelings...we allow them their feelings. We do not make them feel guilty for not "getting over it" as quickly as WE would like them to. We  ALLOW them their feelings.

But in order to this, we must ourselves be brave. We must be brave because we know that allowing them to feel their pain is forcing us to acknowledge everything that IS dark and depressing and hopeless about this life. But as the scriptures say, God has not given us the spirit of Fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. And when we allow someone to have their feelings, we not only give them permission to lean on us in a moment of weakness, but in doing so, we also strengthen our own legs by which we are able to allow them to lean upon us.

It is true that I may be a bit too open about my life and my feelings and my struggles.  I can see how people might look at me and say that I think too much and too deeply about things. All I can say is that this is who I am, and to pretend otherwise would be lying to myself and a contradiction to my true nature.

Anyone who really knows me....or ANY person in this world for that matter, realizes that we are complex and multifaceted creatures. At times one way, and at others another. I am a jester as well as a bleeding heart. I can be as cruel as I can be compassionate and as loving as I can be cold. Within me....within us all....lies the capacity for ALL things. We are none of us stuck....we are none of us all one way or another. True we are all broken....but we are also entirely whole....

But one thing we must never be is ashamed.

We must never be ashamed of our weaknesses and we must never be ashamed of our strengths.

As with many things in life, whenever I am seeking the final word or ultimate truth, I will often turn to the scriptures to see if God has given us any direction on the matter. I believe that I have found what I believe to be validation for the things I have said today.

 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their aweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them.
 -Ether 12:27-

And to this I would add....that we in turn must not be afraid to show unto God or men our weaknesses as well. So that by God, but through one another, we can make weak things become strong.

Thank you for allowing me to show you my weaknesses. Thank you for helping me to become strong.

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