“Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.” William Wordsworth
I think I’m about to turn a corner in this run up to my Rambles with Ruby next Saturday. In the process of sharing some backstories to limit the need enroute to explain a lot of things, I’ve learned about myself. I’ve become aware that there are still doors to close and open. Some of my thoughts may be too poignant for words, but I’ll try to express them anyway.
Author Christian Nevell Bovee said we fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them. I seldom cry, but have been afraid to mine what tears I do shed for fear I might understand what lies beneath them. My tears are usually for animals, places, and things. But maybe they aren’t really about what triggers them. Maybe they are substitutes for the deeper scarier things my numb mind refuses to bring up. Maybe if I take a pick-axe to my substitutionary tears, I’ll break through.
We are the way we are because of stories we tell ourselves. Sometimes our stories are flawed, based on false assumptions about the actions and intentions of others. Sometimes our stories are true, and well worth repeating if only to ourselves. I want to get better at knowing one from the other.
After the Professor convinced me to drive alone to California, I read that adults who suffer attachment disorder can heal by creating new narratives, by retelling the old, hurtful stories in new ways that lead to freedom.
I started today. A long time ago, I had a relationship that was damaging to me in every way. I wanted to be loved and tolerated treatment that was abusive and disrespectful. Today I got a friend request from that person. Kicked it to the curb without a word.
Why? Because I spent too many years listening to the voice in my head that said, “Teri, it’s better than nothing. That’s as good as you’re gonna get. Take it. Maybe you can make it into something good.” That was never, never going to happen. Actually what I got is a whole lot better. I’m not letting that narrative back in. It’s ironic that the friend request came today.
As many years as its been, the old tape went right back to playing in my head. Should I or should I not accept the request? Would not accepting it be rude? Seriously.
So I’ve replaced the old tape with a new narrative. My new story says I’m happy. I’m better than that. It says the other person hasn’t changed (believe me, I looked at the page). My new narrative says, nope. Not this girl. That door is shut. Has been for a long time. Bye bye, now.
So, before I’ve left, my journey has already begun. I’ll likely do more narrative rewrites in the next two or three weeks. But I think I’ll learn most, progress most, if I listen to the stories that make me cry.
Though they may start out closer to the surface, I think I’ll find them much deeper than I dreamed and less frightening for having faced them. No, I’ll mine my tears for the thoughts beneath them. Some of which I’ll share.