Bearing a burden as big as this takes it’s toll, doesn’t it? If only there was an EZ-Pass for this toll.
I don’t want to tell you it gets easier, or it gets better, or even that it’s okay to feel the way you do. Because what I have to say doesn’t matter, what matters is how you feel. And I know you’re not feeling very well, right now.
Hearing “right now” is important. Did you know science says emotions only last two to three minutes? I know, I don’t really believe it either. I guess someone who did that research hasn’t felt the deepness of darkness, hasn’t felt the way cold clenches your heart, and they certainly haven’t felt the weight of loneliness. I think it’s safe to say you’ve felt these things, right?
Let’s play their game for a moment. If emotion only lasts two to three minutes, why do we feel it for so long? Logic suggests to me it’s because the aftershocks of emotion are thorough enough to coax us into thinking they’re lasting longer. We think the same thoughts, we feel the same things… it lasts longer than two to three minutes. If only we could just, you know, stop feeling them.
I’m willing to bet you don’t think that’s a feasible answer. That’s OK, you know. The thoughts come back, it gets cold and dark. And very, very lonely. I’m willing to bet you don’t think this is an answer, either… but here we go. Try and bear with me, I’ll get somewhere important eventually.
I promise. Just bear with me, and hang on for another moment.
Pain is a very strange thing; it hurts, sometimes we don’t feel it, and sometimes we feel it more than we want to. We all run from pain, and in the strides we take from it, we become addicted to the way the air feels on our faces and how it feels to have your heart pumping in your chest. I don’t really think we feel that often, and when we run we do. It’s a bit of a rush. You don’t think, you don’t feel, you certainly don’t sit with your pain.
I think that’s a touch of addiction, don’t you? We end up craving something to soothe our pain, whether it’s the bitter aftertaste of brown liquor, or it’s the pavement under our feet. We’re running, and we don’t take those two to three minutes to feel ourselves.
Addiction is a selfish thing. No, I’m not saying you’re selfish for how you feel; please don’t consider that at all. Everything you feel is valid, everything you feel is OK. I won’t tell you to feel different. But, addiction is a selfish thing if and only if because it’s something we serve ourselves.
I’m willing to bet you aren’t very nice to yourself. I’ll have to respectfully disagree with the things you tell yourself, the words that are your company when you’re alone, cold, and it’s dark. How dare you tell yourself them.
Did you ever dream of having children? I do sometimes, you know. I haven’t ever really thought it through, to be honest, but sometimes I dream about what it would be like to see a part of me living and breathing in front of me. To give me a purpose, something to love more than myself. Then again, that’s not really too hard. So, have you ever dreamed of having children?
Imagine the way her blue eyes begin to water, and their familiarity begs for help. Beg for relief from the thing that hurts, whether it’s a boo-boo or the thing that boy called her at lunch. You would lovingly pull her into your arms, you’d stroke her hair, and you’d tell her that the wound will heal because that’s what a body does. The words won’t sting forever, but she’s better than the words anyway. You would soothe her, rock her to sleep, or keep her company while she sits with her hurt.
Now how dare you deprive yourself of the same thing. How dare you tell yourself things you wouldn’t tell her? I’ll remind you.
You are worthy.
You are deserving.
And however you feel is OK, but it doesn’t need to last.
There will be people who will sit with you through your pain, and shoulder your burden on their back. They might not take it totally from you, but they’ll help you carry it for a while. They love you, you know?
Hold on for just another minute, please.
When I can’t stop telling myself things I wouldn’t tell anyone else, I reach out. Sometimes people don’t pick up the phone, and sometimes they’re unavailable. But I reach out, I offer something of myself to them so I stop feeding my addiction. Because I want to run.
I ask, “Is there something I can do with you today? Something I can do for you? Is there any way I can support you today?”That little piece of me I give, stays out in the world and out there. And suddenly I’m not so lonely anymore, it’s not so cold, and it’s just a touch brighter.
It’s been three minutes, now. There are things no one else can think of but you. There are thoughts you have that no one has ever thought of. There’s strength to love, or love again, and move forward. Don’t forget that.
If you’re feeling pain, still, it’s time to wait another two to three minutes. I’ll sit with you.