Doing the Right Thing

A good friend called me the other night.  She’d had a little encounter with the departed one, something that left a bad taste in her mouth, (more like her heart), and she was moved to call me to support me and to tell me I’d done the right thing.  All this time later, I suppose it is good to have validation of such, especially so since it seems that only lately am I coming to a true and honest peace with it.  There’s a cornball homily that things “take as long as they take,” and while we go through all the motions, doing what has to be done, perhaps for a while  we are running on automatic pilot, going through the motions of a life, even if those lives are punctuated with glorious adventures and meaningful moments along the way.  While there’s never been any doubt that I “did the right thing” –  feeling my way through it and moving on with my life – there are times that certain feelings rise up like bad chili and you have to deal.  And question, and remember, and a whole slew of other perhaps not so fun treadmill exercises of the mind.  Let’s just leave the heart out of it for a while.

Several of my caring friends have made noises about this journey, saying that I should leave the past out of it now, and offer no more head space or blog space to anything having a whit to do with, shall we say, my “previous life.”  Sure, if I were super human and devoid of emotions and perfect in mind and soul, (and that heart thing), maybe I could just write it off and soldier on, but I think I’ve soldiered fairly well, thank you very much.   Be all that as it may, and no disrespect to my well meaning friends, but, um, it takes as long as it takes.  I think Freedom and Peace are just now settling in to my bones, and maybe I’m just now being able to let out that deep breath and relax into my new life.  There have been a few days when I’ve about been turning blue, and breath holding or tantrums are not good things for the body to endure.  They are taxing on the mind and psyche as well, and even your friends weary of the witnessing.  Not that I haven’t said this before, and felt like I meant it then, but… I think I’m done.  Or at least more done than I have been.  You have to watch out for those absolutes – they’ll bite you in the butt every time, or at an inopportune one and then you’ve got some “splainin” to do, to quote Ricky Ricardo.  Perhaps this blog is just one big SPLAIN, (with a few pretty diversions and adventures thrown in for entertainment and balance. )

Let me also say that for every get in bed and pull the covers over my head day, (so very productive, as we all know), there have been equal numbers of jaw dropping moments of adventure and grace and gratitude at the sheer volume of goodness and wonder in my life.  I am blessed, and I know it.  But I am also human, so the little grey gremlins sneak in under the door sometimes and kick a dent in some day when I was just ambling along, puttering around, maybe not paying enough attention.  Or maybe I was paying too much attention – to the wrong things.  However, I think I am on the downhill side of Molehill Mountain.

Even the tone and timber of my dreams has changed.  Only days ago  I awoke to the immediate memory of the movie just played in my head, and I had been my own witness to sitting next to an empty shell of a “partner,” one that had nothing to give and nobody home.  Ta Dah.  Now that sounds cold and cruel and totally unsympathetic, but that’s what it needs to be – (mostly – more about that in a minute) – my version of my truth.  Whatever the parts and physics of all our personal equations, sometimes those parts just don’t add up, and we have to be responsible for our own solutions to the equations that just can’t be balanced.  Nobody has to be the bad guy, they can just be the wrong guy, for us.  Or us for them.  Whatever.  No one has to go out with pitchforks and torches to rid the neighborhood of an evil monster – maybe it’s time to just move on, and leave the monster to his own devices, and he might do very well for himself with other playmates.  At this point, it’s no longer any of our business anyway.  (Unless you’ve had children with him or her, and that’s another blog.)  Otherwise, thankfully, it can be Done and Done, and the survivors can go their own ways, out of the ring and no longer to their respective corners before the next round, and who the hell wants to watch (or live) a pay for view fight anyway.  Not me, or anyone I wish to spend time with.  And the price is way too high.  So move on already.  (I know, Easier Said Than Done Department, for a while anyway.)

Let me please insert here that I mostly felt bad for the monster.  Whether Godzilla or Frankenstein’s creation, I generally thought they got the raw end of the deal.  They wrought havoc, for sure, but maybe it wasn’t all their fault.  But ah, here’s the difference.  They had not the capacities to assess their own bad lot and change who they were.  As functional human beings, we should be able to do that, and we do have the choice to change.  It starts with looking in the big mirror.  Sad to say, some of us squander that choice, and happen to think they/we are JUST FINE as they are, and some of them will tell you just that.  Well OK then.  But I’ll be moving on – MY choice.  Even as I consider Godzillla’s plight, I still have compassion for their darkness, along with those he stomps.  But I won’t be living in the dark, and finding myself squashed on the sidewalk in the process.

Nor do I want to assume the role of Stone Caster, and make everything all somebody else’s fault.  A wise person once said, “It takes two to tango.”  (That’s an easy one to go to since I still want to learn to salsa dance.)  Bingo.  I played the game, and it took me a long time to put down the dice and pick up the mirror.  And we all have myriad reasons for staying in the game.  That’s why someone invented therapists.

So I take no credit, really, for doing the right thing.  The thing I did was the ONLY thing – what I had to do to preserve my safety, sanity, and get back on the road to the rest of my life.  It was a longish haul to get where I was, and there was no shortcut available to the new blue highway.  You simply have to feel what you feel, question it, answer your questions, HONESTLY, and then make tracks for the sky world.  There is always the difference in the KNOWING, and the DOING, however.  While, way back then, I knew what I had to do, the doing part wasn’t nearly as cut and dried.  (Simple, but not so easy, remember?)  Even though I moved “forward,” sometimes feeling like I was doing it on one leg, with one hand tied behind my back and my eyes closed, I think actually that was more how I got around, (or didn’t), when I was living the lie, not embarking on any new direction – refusing to look in the mirror and ask the hard questions, much less consider the answers.  After the break, it was sometimes hard to get used to having the feeling back in my hands and feet, and seeing with both eyes instead of through the blindfold of my own self-imposed and nurtured blindness to what was – as in that dream, sitting right next to me for all those years.  Sort of like the actual pain in your feet or hands when they’ve gone to sleep, then you make a move, and then the blood rushes back in.  For  a bit, before “normal” returns, it hurts.  Reality hurts, and then you deal.  For a while, as long as it takes, you deal with the hurt.  Even if you do it on autopilot.  Even while you sort through the questions you didn’t want to ask and the answers you don’t want to hear, and find yourself smiling through the tears so as not to frighten or disturb the public.  After enough time, and work, the smile is finally real.  The sunlight might hurt your eyes after so much time in the darkness, but when your eyes adjust, there is indeed a world out there, and a life you forgot you had.

And after a little longer, you’ve done enough, and learned enough, to give back.  I hope, finally, that is what I’m doing.

However, there are days that I still need sunglasses.

Onward, y’all.

Wisdom does not come without serious Pondering.


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