Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A bad-mood day + an unlikely connection = a simple truth to remember :Be YOU, not who people want you to be.

Today, I woke up just wrong. Dark, heavy, in that place where you feel you can't stand up straight, for the sky and all the air, matter, and unseen is weighing you down. Sweet. Yup. That was my Tuesday.

I tried shaking it off, went to the gym, worked out, and lifted weights. (very grounding to do squats- blaring Bastille's "Flaws" btw) My day was compounded by: A stare-off at the health club with a horrible sack of self-loathing festooned in a woman's skin that appears confident and strong (She's the worst type...toxic that thinks she's a rose), my heightened awareness of people's perception of me, and a whiny toddler.

But then....out of nowhere, or specifically, from the lobby corridor, she came. A mere acquaintance. I smiled. She engaged and sat down. (Just like this bubble knows my baggage; we all know hers. Mine-self-inflicted and salacious, whereas, hers is tragic and happened TO her.)

IF there were a score-card she wins, hands down. For the sake of anonymity, I'll be vague. Her partner faced an acute and sudden possibility of death. (FYCancer) His attitude and their support was hugely positive. He beat the odds with some life-altering ramifications, and nothing will ever be the same, and thus, the roller coaster ensues. I akin it to a wife of a war Veteran that comes home with his life, but he is someone new, someone different and in need of daily care. Can that army wife mourn the loss of that man? Even when her immediate world is celebrating his survival and telling her how grateful she must be?

 She asks how I am, my response: "Who cares, how are you?" and what followed was one of those rare and completely genuine exchanges of disarming truth and acceptance. I felt immediately, the complexity of her emotional journey. I saw a shift in her now, from her former bubbly self - the burden of living up to people's idea of what she should feel. Yet, the only truth or energy I felt was that she was sad, battered, confused and angry that her life will NEVER be the same, her responsibilities and safe guards dramatically changed.

I wanted to take her pain, validate all the things she "can't " say, but feels. I wanted to hold a mirror to her unbelievable strength and integrity. Let the golden light of that shine and embody her. Instead, I said: "Well, you know the whole town hates me, so I'm available to listen...without ramifications or judgement. Who am I going to tell?" With that, she let out a huge, guttural laugh that beamed both of us further into that little vacuum of "acknowledging the ugly truths." I can't change her life, or mine, for that matter. I can't make either easier, but in that short conversation an odd recognition illuminated.

The two of us on opposite sides of "people's opinion." Based,  merely on WHAT they think they know, we feel the weight of how we should feel, behave or act. I don't know if it stuck, but I said: "YOU can't feel what people want you to FEEL that's unfair, impossible, and pointless. Shit.....IF I feel all the things people want me to, I'd brim with self-loathing or be dead. That is, if it MATTERS to me...which it does not."

 Lucky for me I've recently discovered a few things:

- What people think is only as valuable as the meaning you give it.

- Life is so stinking hard, but even on terrible days, little gifts (such as the above) get presented to you if you are awake and open to it.

- If not authentic to yourself and your being...."as is" right now,  during every "now" ( be it devastating, depressed, or angry) you can't truly be authentic when things are considerably better...and they will be. I don't know much, but THIS I KNOW.

-It is absolutely NOT all relative, but the way things make us FEEL, can be. Full stop.

So, I offered my ear for future, if she wanted to.  I made a self-deprecating joke because I needed to, and I left with her number..... To which I simply texted this:

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