To Let Go
Have you ever gone through a time when life seems to be trying to kill you?
Have you ever gone through a time when life seems to be trying to kill you? But not physically, rather through emotional impact and relational destruction?
I’ve had some hard times over the past 10 years, but over the last month and even week there has been a massive confluence of mental health crises within my family, relationship issues between me and my girlfriend, health crises for another family member, and internal/emotional health issues that have resulted for myself.
And the problem is that I’ve tried as hard as I can to prevent a lot of pain or dysfunction from happening, through advice and care of myself, my relationships—and yet when longstanding issues come to a head, often through the right words, the perfect experience that brings them out, or some other kind of trigger, there is almost inevitably a kind of explosion that creates unavoidable pain. This is the pain of change. And it’s up to everyone involved whether they want to resist the change—and sometimes these resistances are totally unconscious. So it requires work to bring resistance to awareness. Which is hard, because change and loss set a person on guard—the internal world becomes chaos, and more often than not a strategy is born, often unconscious, that seeks to preserve the old ways of being at all costs.
I’m not providing this context for sympathy, but to explain an essential process, that I believe is inseparable from change and human life itself. And I wanted to explain that I am not in danger, I am not depressed or in too much pain, but that I’m undergoing a real look into things, and a process of not preserving my old ways of functioning at all costs. It’s time, I’ve decided, to let them go.
Pain Of Change
As I walk the terrain changes. And it's not the terrain that changes, rather it stays the same, and I am the one who changes. Or does the ground look different from who I have become, or is it the ground that shapes me? Prospect of possibility, pain, strangeness & difference loom as features in a landscape then suddenly pass. At a walking pace life feels overwhelming even at a crawl even at rest. Laying in the van in the early morning light counting birdsong robin, snipe, wren and chickadee, the tanager, yellow warbler, I make agreements with myself not to consider all the things I might lose, or dream of what I may gain, and then I break the agreements for hours as the light slowly floods the space, and I awaken to another day. As I walk the terrain changes, or am I changed by the land? Down a badger hole lays a solitary pink egg, finger tipped size and fragile as anything I have ever seen. I pick it up and set it next to another, and what does it matter? protecting things my whole life, and it's mostly been a failure. Across the wet grass a herd of bison runs through bunchgrass up a hillside and inside me theres so much anger, a lack of power, grief, loss that I know to be universal, as the rain spatters my umbrella and I look around for thistles that I'm surveying on this job, and the rain soaks my pants and gets into my boots, and I'm not sure I've ever been wetter in my life and cold too and the scream inside condenses to a shout and then to tears and I kneel down on the earth and give up my power, my strategies and defenses, and my plans and my hopes and I cry and cry and cry.