My Pain is Not About Myself

This was in my journal for June 10.  I typed it up today, and saw that I was making my pain personal, and a mistake on my part.  I did not see that it might be related to the state of the world, the awful things going on out there, and my powerlessness in the face of them.  Though I immediately realize I’m not helpless.  I sign petitions, I called the Governor of New Hampshire, and I can teach writing for healing.  Also, when we do the circle dances, I know that we are creating a new and different world, where diversity is celebrated.  It feels like a powerful prayer.

Woke up, and was almost immediately hit by sad & scared.  I look out at the bright green trees, and feel the weight in my heart and belly.  Is my life still worthwhile?  I say yes, but it’s become a concept, not a reality.  Well, I had a good run.

I think it was probably taking a friend to test drive a possible car in Littleton.  On our way in she talked about her fears, about needing to save money for her teeth and someday she’ll have to get another car.

I can see that I’m angry at myself for losing the feeling of being OK.  I tried to tell myself that there are a lot of people out there who feel scared & sad, but it doesn’t seem real.  What happened?  This is so frustrating!  Yes, I’m angry about losing those good feelings.  I’m angry at myself because I have enough money to not have to worry about taking care of my teeth and getting another car.  The political situation doesn’t help.

Yes, I’m angry and disappointed with myself for losing that good state.  Can I find compassion for myself?  Yes, something softens inside.  Can I forgive myself?  What comes up immediately is it’s not my fault.  I don’t do this deliberately, it’s triggered by something.  Compassion for Jenny, who is powerless over her own mental state, who is powerless to help her friend.  Well, that definitely shifts things.  I feel more sad than scared — maybe the scared is related to the anger.

What I see now, especially after rereading Miriam Greenspan’s book “Healing through the Dark Emotions” is that my sadness, my loss of that good feeling, is related to my friend’s situation and all the terrible things that are happening in the world.  It’s not about my individual pain.  It’s not because my trauma has been triggered — though possibly it’s because of my helplessness in the face of so much pain.  It’s another blindness in the culture we live in, actual denial of what we are doing to the world and each other.  Going to a therapist is seen as weakness, that there is something wrong with you, not that you are sensitive enough to perceive what’s happening in the world.  It’s really a sign of how much I care about the world: our planet and all the people and creatures who depend on its life-support.

This entry was posted in Activism, Journal, Present Day. Bookmark the permalink.