Photo and Drawing by:
Gillian Cornwall, c. 2011
"When you're weary
When tears are in your eyes
I will dry them all..."
Simon and Garfunkel
Well that was a rough week - one of the hard ones and the stuff I'm processing, well, it's going to be hard and it's going to take a while. That is the truth, my truth ...and it's okay. For someone who works with the ways of being human every week, sometimes I'm astounded at how long and bumpy my road is with this lesson:
"Difficult is okay. Be true to yourself."
How often have we glazed over our hard times with a handy "I'm fine, thanks" or an "I'm good." Of course, you are good. We all aim to be good.
This past week, I have been processing some difficult issues, the content of which is not the subject of this post. The subject is, how to maintain the truth of how you are feeling without necessarily going into the details of it unless it is warranted AND accepting the truth from a person without being a fixer. The act of acknowledgement is, at times, the most healing thing. AND, you can simply say to someone who is struggling, "Thank you for sharing your truth with me. If there is something I can do or help you find what you need to get through this, let me know. I could talk after work at 4:30?" OR: "Are you okay in this moment or do we need to get you some help right now?"
The thing is, many of us were raised to fake it 'til we make it and sometimes that is okay too. Sometimes, you just gotta put it away until you get somewhere safe or somewhere you can rest and process. I think the main thing is to be accepting of yourself not being okay all the time. There is so much that we go through in our lives and so much that we witness because of the access of information. It is easy to have your own stuff triggered when faced with streams of video, text and images from the experience of others.
Again, I think it is how we deal with our hardship that counts. We humans are easy to read. Our difficulty shows in our faces, our actions, our words and our body language. Trying to hide it only results in confusion for those around us. We people function much better when we have some information to go on and when we follow those darn Four Agreements! Here I go again:
- Be impeccable with your word.
- Don't take anything personally.
- Don't make assumptions.
- Do your best.
It's okay not to be doing great. It's okay to own it. It's okay to say that you have it covered when you do and that you need help when that is the case. Remember, if you are very deep in your struggle and someone doesn't get it, is uncomfortable with your trouble or grief, is annoyed that you are not "behaving properly" or punishes you in any way for your truth, IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR YOUR VALUE! It is about their capacity to help. Check out last week's post, The Life Compassionate for more on this. Do not give up or think you are undeserving if someone disappoints you when you are honest or reach out. It is truly only a reflection of their capacity to help you, NOT your worthiness of their help.
The truth is, we all struggle at times. Some of us hide away and plod through it silently. This may work on some level for some people if they do not need to get to the root of the trouble or, sometimes the trouble is based in a lack of sleep, hormonal shifts, poor diet, not enough serotonin to the brain / exercise. A large number of things can make for a difficult week that will in fact shift with a lifestyle adjustment. It is up to each of us how we choose to walk our healing path. Just know, it is okay to put down the heavy burden of hurt and say, "This is no longer mine to carry alone."
It's the cumulative, long-term troubles that concern me as necessary to shift, raise up, look at, acknowledge, evaluate and place appropriately for healing and growth to occur. Some things need to be put down and unpacked for the betterment of community, society and the individuals that have been carrying them alone for years.
In light of the Truth and Reconciliation report this week and the impact this has on the people on this land and particularly, the people of this land, I want to acknowledge the horrific atrocities experienced by our Indigenous communities. In particular, the experiences of those who were forced from their homes and communities into the residential schools across Canada. The last residential school closed in 1996. The CBC has a history of residential schools in Canada and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada site is here: http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=3
I offer my sincere apologies to my Indigenous brothers and sisters on whose unceded lands I am an uninvited visitor. I do not claim to know or understand your loss but I stand beside you with my heart and arms open in the hopes that we can heal from these crimes together. To the elders, thank you for your strength, your truth and your willingness to share your truth. This post is dedicated to you.
Be well, be true and seek joy, my friends. You all deserve it.
-Gillian Cornwall, c. June 7, 2015
Gillian Cornwall, c 2012