Archives for posts with tag: tears

Snow is falling. I don’t mind that; it’s pretty, and I’m comfortable at home. What I do mind are these tears. Oh, and the headache. The tinnitus. The crossness and fatigue that come of sleeping poorly. I mind all those things. “I’m doing my best.” It’s not “enough”.

I’ve lost my sense of enthusiasm even for something as innocent and delightful as a snowy winter afternoon.

I’ve lost my balance, and my way, and I’m as a hapless motorist in a blinding snow storm – drifting, then… stuck.

I’ve lost my perspective.

I’ve lost my sense of humor about all the maddening bullshit that has to do with caring for this meat suit until it finally rots around me.

…I’m just tired…

My Traveling Partner is annoyed with me. I’m not communicating well. I’m terse without realizing it. Apparently. I’m making a completely fucked up mess of the day in all but one respect; work. I’ve got this work in front of me. For now it keeps me anchored and aware that in some future moment maybe things won’t feel so utterly completely shit… I mean… “this too shall pass”… ? Right? I just need to stay focused on this spreadsheet for another couple hours…

…It’s surprisingly difficult to hold on to non-attachment when I need it most…

I’m angry with myself and disappointed. I don’t tell myself I’ve set the bar too high; I’ll myself that I’m fraud and a failure and a clown because I am not right now 100% of every inch of the woman I most want to be… in spite of this headache, and this fatigue, and this absolutely entirely fallible mortal and very human experience. It’s a moment. It’s not a great moment. It’s not a delightful moment. It’s not a moment I’m going to want to carry with me for a life time of recollection… but it’s part of my experience of being this particular human being. It has to be enough – and it has to be just another moment, one more step, one mile on a much longer journey. If I let it swamp me and become “everything”… yeah, then I definitely lose my way. ūüė¶ Been there, too.

I take a breath. I let the tears fall. I watch the snow flakes coming down. I let the minutes pass without requiring anything more of them – or me.

The snow continues to fall. It’s beautiful. It’s cold out there. I stare past my monitor to the window and into the sky. That sky isn’t so blue right now. Weather versus climate. The pain in my neck is distracting in an unpleasant way…but it reminds me to turn my attention back to the work in front of me. Whatever. It’s something.

…Sometimes “something” has to be enough to hold onto. That’s okay. There will be a chance to begin again.

I am having a difficult moment. I write those words simply, and hoping that perhaps seeing them on the page in such a practical no bullshit way might give me some kind of leverage, a way to pull myself from the edge of this pit. It feels harder than that. Given a chance I know that it probably isn’t any more difficult that giving myself some tenderness, some compassion, and maintaining the will to look the truth straight in the face, fully accepting disappointments, hurts, and all the small things that don’t feel good. Awesome is possible…but the effort to lift a finger to let go of the hurting long enough to change it is hard to muster right now. It won’t stay this way ‘forever’, however much I hurt right now.

I am not skilled at managing my emotions. I’m still such a beginner. I feel my feelings so strongly – as if they are the only real reality, the only true truth. Intellect tells me it isn’t so. Study suggests perspective matters. Practices, over time, have resulted in so many fewer such moments like this one. Here I am now, though. This one’s harder than most, lately¬†things have been very good.¬†It’s not helping matters that I have no name for this feeling…some mix of disappointment, sadness, frustration, loneliness, and grief…and over something probably pretty small in the bigger picture.

I wrote more. I deleted it. I wrote more after that. Deleted it, too. Writing. Reading. Deleting. Contemplating words in rows. Feeling feelings. Tears slide down my face, ignored. I write. More words. I delete them; they say nothing. I am uncertain what I feel beyond this gray heavy hurting and loneliness. People are not who I¬†expect them to be, or who I¬†want them to be, or even who they once were. People are only who they are, in this moment now, and not even reliably so; I persist in expecting things, assuming things, wanting things. Mere mortals, one and all, each with our own baggage, our own failures, our own hurts – each of us the ‘good guy’ in our own narrative, and making it up as we go along. Something about this must be worth it – most of us keep at it. Again and again.

...Maybe a picture of some flowers will help?

…Maybe a picture of some flowers will help?

I am covered in mosquito bites. The itching drives me mad. I am in tears, head stuffy, eyes swollen. I am resentful of my weakness and my failure – how the fuck did I manage to fuck up a nice bit of hang out time with my traveling partner so easily? I mean, aside from being utterly human? My head aches with doubt and insecurity. Right now, nothing feels good, or holds any promise. This seems an unfair extreme, and rationally I know to doubt the intensity of it. Right now, I feel sad…and a lot of other stuff, none of it any good. ¬†My¬†demons head for the playground. I feel stalled and helpless – and angry with myself that any one other human being anywhere has this kind of influence on my state of mind, however loved, however well-intended, however valued.

Words on a page. Maybe I should delete more of them? What is there to be gained in words about tears? It is wishful thinking to hope the demons might be distracted by a handful of words. They are not inclined to listen deeply, to be considerate, affectionate, supportive, or friendly – they don’t have my best interests in mind at all. ¬†They do not love. ¬†I do, though… it’s just hard right now. First I’ve got to swallow this bitter pill, with a side of fail sauce – then, later, when there are no more tears, sometime after a shower, after time spent meditating, after some sleep…maybe then it won’t be so hard to be alone. I may be doing quite a lot of it in the future – there’s really no way to know what the future holds for ¬†me.

Some moments are harder than others. They’re all just moments, brief and ephemeral – good or bad, they are over so quickly. Hurting sucks, but it will also end. Eventually tears dry. Eventually wounds heal. Eventually, wherever I happen to be will be okay with me. I focus on something small; I am okay right now…it’s a place to start.

Begin somewhere, and keep taking steps.

Begin somewhere, and keep taking steps.

…later…

Change is. Really. That’s even okay – sometimes it takes getting used to. Sometimes there are regrets – and apologies. Sometimes there is distance. Words can be misunderstood. The summer showers of my emotions pass quickly. I’m okay. Tears do dry. ūüôā

I woke gently and feeling decently well. The morning is quiet. Yoga felt good and I’m not in much pain. The pale sky slowly turning blue suggests another lovely summer day, probably hot. ¬†I pulled an exceptional double shot of espresso this morning, rich and dark and topped with a dense crema. I’m having ‘a good hair day’, and the clothes I picked for work fit well and I feel beautiful¬†– which still matters even at 51. So…what’s with the tears?

It started while I was meditating, big hot tear drops began welling up, and sliding down my cheeks. First just one or two, then a torrent, and finally sitting quietly, shoulders shaking ever so slightly, still focused on breathing, tears falling… Why am I crying? There’s no mistaking it now. This is not weeping, although it is not sobbing either. I’m not in hysterics. I don’t feel anxious, or afraid. It’s almost as if…it’s all just ‘too much’, and here are the tears, spilling over because there’s just no more room for emotions to be kept packed away behind a veneer of resolve, control, and ‘appropriateness’. I even ‘feel okay’ inasmuch as I’m not in much pain, slept decently well, and don’t even have the usual headache. Still…the tears fall.

Instead of lashing out at the world like a frightened animal, or panicking and throwing an hysterical tantrum built on anxiety, fear, and assumptions, this morning I simply let the tears fall. Plentifully. Even continuing to meditate. This morning, instead of paying my tears no heed, and saying or thinking something powerfully dismissive like ‘pay no attention to the fluid leaking from my face holes, I’ll get that checked out’, I gave my attention over to my emotions for a moment, still breathing, still present, and compassionate. Something pretty wonderful happened…I feel ‘loved’ and cared for. There’s no one here but me. One partner away, taking care of his own needs, resting and taking comfort among friends. The other, somewhere else in the house, possibly sleeping; it’s very quiet this morning. It’s just me, as I said, and yet… I feel secure, nurtured, comforted…I can do this for me? Myself?

The tears stopped. Meditation continued. A smile tugs at the corners of my mouth now and I feel the small crinkles at the corners of my eyes – the sort I’d expect if I’d been happy all my life – and I feel grateful for this strangely cleansing morning. I still don’t really ‘understand’ the tears, but maybe I was just ‘full up’ with emotions and some had to spill over. It’s been a very trying week so far, and my heart feels altered by it somehow. Being surprised about the depth and richness of my emotional life doesn’t occur to me – then I wonder why. (Go, Brain! lol Can I get just a little constancy, please? No. No, I can not. It’s not how we’re wired, is it? ūüôā )

Interestingly, having finished my espresso and my email, I’m not only no longer crying, I feel just on the edge of … ‘merry’. There’s something important about taking care of my heart, and treating myself well, that was slipping from my grasp, and I think I am understanding more right now than I ever did previously… it’s not just take care of my body well, or maintaining good self-care, and an orderly comfortable environment. Taking care of me also has a specific¬†emotional component that I missed, something very specific; treating myself with real compassion, with acceptance, with kindness. ¬†These aren’t just keywords in a search about meditation, mindfulness, mental health or menopause… They are real experiences, that provided to myself, by me, actually do result in real feelings of being cared for and valued. (Can you see the light bulb over my head?)

Choices along the way change the journey.

Choices along the way change the journey.

This feels good. ¬†It’s a bit as if I’m standing at a point on my path with a sign post… one way leads to greater self-control through rigid habit building, and skilled maintenance of those habits, and a certain tolerance for misery… the other… says only ’emotional self-sufficiency’, leaving me to guess at the nature of the destination. ¬†One direction paved, heavily traveled, landscaped, manicured, well-mapped, reviewed often… and in the other direction, more of a trail, cut into the underbrush, shaded with a dense overhang, disappearing around a bend into the unknown… I recall an oft-repeated quote from a Robert Frost poem than never really resonated with me before. “…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,¬†I took the one less traveled by,¬†And that has made all the difference.” ¬†I look it up and read the entire poem, taken a moment to really savor the relevance in the moment.

Continuing my journey...walking my own path.

Continuing my journey…walking my own path.

Today is a good day for poetry, and a good day to be moved. Today is a good day to treat myself well without reservations. Today is a good day to feel content, strong, and whole – and to enjoy this moment that I do feel that way. Today is a good day to change the world.

It was an interesting weekend. Hormones, a homecoming, and the fun of a traveler’s tales wove a narrative with some ups and downs, some challenges, and some real delights. Spring in the garden and along the shorter walks I can manage on this knee gave up some wonderful pictures to enjoy, and some perspective on what matters most that helped me stay balanced and grounded as much as I could manage with the choices I made.

The loveliness of spring is, whatever else may also be.

The loveliness of spring is, whatever else may also be.

I am an imperfect being, human, alive, and more fragile than I expect to be. I suspect we all are. ¬†I don’t make my best choices under stress; more stuff causes me stress than seems rational, necessary, or wise. From a distance it is comical, up close it is as likely to provoke tears of frustration. Hormone hell? Yeah, I still deal with it. I’ve got just 55 days now until I can ‘officially’ say I have ‘gone through menopause’. More hilarity; that doesn’t actually offer any real guarantee I won’t ever ever ever have a period, or that my hormones won’t turn some invisible corner and wreak havoc in my life for hours or days… just that it is less likely by far, and I am easily labelled ‘past my child-bearing years’. lol. ¬†Not a great demonstration of medical precision. Still… 55 days left, and I am eager to be done with it.

A single raindrop doesn't say much about the weather.

A single raindrop doesn’t say much about the weather.

I’m excited that my partner returned from his getaway with restored enthusiasm for getting out into the world, into the wild, for hiking, camping, fishing… and I’m jealous, more than I want to share, more than seems fair. ¬†I’d like to share those experience with him. ¬†Arthritis. Knees. Ankle. I’m struggling with pain and mobility on a level that would likely make any sort of challenging hike not even a little bit fun for either of us to ‘enjoy’ together, at least for now. ¬†The irony of it seems more than a little cruel to me. Damn, though, I love seeing him interested in something fun and energetic, and ‘all his own’. Newness and learning open the doors to fantastic conversation and connection; everyone needs to have their own thing, their own experiences, otherwise – what is there to ‘share’?

We serve love best when we are more than a reflection of each other.

We serve love best when we are more than a reflection of each other.

I approach life more fearlessly these days… which apparently has a down-side I had not anticipated. ¬†For so many years I’ve kept my anger in check with fear… so… now what? It’s a scary question with some amount of urgency behind it because… I’m angry a lot. ¬†I’d like to think not abusively so, but… anger is nasty shit. How is anger ever not at all abusive? I don’t know many people who don’t find someone else’s anger at least uncomfortable, and often ‘too much’ or ‘inappropriate’ to the circumstances or magnitude of the event. So… it’s now time to work on anger, and not just that, time to work on Anger, too. The big A. The anger that doesn’t die. The Anger that has festered over years. The Anger as a meta-emotion. ¬†Rage. Fury. The thing that takes over and escapes my control; now is the time to unchain the beast and teach it some manners.

Stormy weather...

Stormy weather…

It’s a little scary to know that it’s time to face the Anger, best it, and move on to other things. Like a fearless hero in a legend, I am facing a foe and uncertain of the outcome – this is the big one. This is the demon I must conquer to take a next step to healing the worst damage, because that ‘worst damage’ to which I refer is the source and well-spring of that vast untamed sea of Anger. To set foot on that damaged shore, I must find a way to safely navigate that sea.

Vast, but sometimes not everything it appears to be.

Vast, but sometimes not everything it appears to be.

I wanted a more relaxed, gentle, calm weekend than the one I had, however as a student of life, and perpetually a beginner with practicing mindfulness, I value the lesson. I benefited from the opportunity to examine old problems from new angles. ¬†I appreciate the real experience of being supported by my partner, and also seeing what that demands of my partner and that there may be more I can do for myself to alleviate the burden. A weekend with less easy delight and charm that I allowed myself to look forward to (and expectations are the motherfucker of all good times, without question), and a lot of¬†intimacy, vulnerability and depth of connection, and opportunities to share, get close emotionally, and talk through hard stuff. ¬†I’m inclined to call it a ‘great weekend’ in spite of the opportunities for tears. ¬†Anyone taking the quantity of my tears personally, who wasn’t around in the 60s, 70s, and 80s is probably missing the point of my tears.

In general, life is quite lovely.

In general, life is quite lovely.

I miss my other partner, and it’ll be nice to have her home and hear her tales of adventure in the big city. ¬†I allow myself to look forward to it with real delight, in spite of that wee demon whispering in my ear about things and other things. ¬†We choose so much of our reality. Today is a good day to choose joy. Today is a good day to choose compassion. Today is a good day to remember – every time – that we are each having our own experience, and the irritability of that person over there (whoever, wherever) isn’t about us.

Perspective. Mindfulness. Sufficiency. Savoring the small delights more than I rail about the disappointments makes an important difference.

Perspective. Mindfulness. Sufficiency. Savoring the small delights more than I rail about the disappointments makes an important difference.

I feel pretty close to understanding something…

I look in the mirror and see so much more than ‘me’ tonight. There are tears queued up just behind my eyes, felt more than seen. Eyes red. Signs of age. Why am I weeping? Tears cascading down unprovoked. My heart feels strangely light. I walked a while in the night air, feeling the softness of a spattering of rain drops. Smelling the flowers of coastal California, somehow recognizably different from ‘home’. Where exactly is ‘home’ these days? Somewhere in my heart, I guess, not quite on a map that has any reality outside my own experience. I find myself wondering what a ‘map of the world’ ¬†might look like if the scale and importance were determined by my recollections and experience, only, rather than what ‘is’ – or seems to be.

The night tells its own stories.

The night tells its own stories.

Tonight I had dinner with an old friend. That seems simple enough. Out of town, on business, catch up with old friends… it happens in every city every day, I’m sure. We talked about challenges and old heartache, of friends, and changes, and loved ones now gone. We talked of triumphs, and wonder. We talked of love and growth. We laughed.

Why am I weeping? I’m not sad, exactly. I’m not wounded. I’m not grieving. Hell… I just had a great time, connected and deep, and transcending time and space, with a friend I’ve missed a while and love to hang out with. We’re open with each other. ¬†The conversations we share are deep; they always have been. Why am I weeping? Is this what having a heart feels like?

Emotions are strange. I’m okay. I’m… moved. Deeply moved by the pleasure of a good friend’s company. Moved by how good it feels to be human and connected and able to feel so much so deeply. Tears fall. I’m still okay, and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ at all.

Stillness, perspective, and a cup of tea.

Stillness, perspective, and a cup of tea.

Moments come and go. Challenges rise, and we rise to face them. Truths in life are revealed, and accepted, rejected, denied, or held dear. There’s always time, and rarely enough. Aren’t the laughter and the tears just part of it all? Part of this human experience? My tears dry as I make a cup of tea and ponder life’s ponderables. Slowly the sounds of traffic outside my window overcome the sound of stillness in my hotel room.

I’m not a little girl anymore. 50. I still make mistakes. I make a lot more of them that I’d like. Tonight I learned that one of those is how little I invest in some of the relationships I hold most dear, allowing myself to coast on what has been. It’s a poor investment practice, when the return is so high to choose differently – and really, at any time, we could be … or not be. Snuffed out like a candle at bedtime. Finished like a writing assignment on a deadline. Done. Gone. Ended. Over. No longer on the premises. The chances to be with my friends are not unlimited. Life is not unlimited. Time is not unlimited. I will make different choices. This matters too much to me; I can tell by the quantity of tears and the pure relief of seeing an old friend again, even for a couple of hours.

Tonight I am grateful. Grateful for love. Grateful for good friends. Grateful for those few precious relationships in which I feel visible and understood. Those feelings are powerful – certainly worth tolerating a few tears. Tonight I am thinking of you, my dearest friends, and all my loves – then and now and evermore. I miss you – out there, somewhere, in the night. I hope you are each and all warm and safe and dry, that you have what you need and more, and that you feel loved, and welcomed wherever you are right now. ¬†Take care, and be well – and let’s get together soon.

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