The wound is the place where the light enters you. – Rumi
I occasionally get pushback from individuals that see my writing as a con. They think because they read my writing that they know everything there is to know about me or that it is just another game in some scam they imagine they know. As if looking at someone’s painting or pottery tells me everything there is to know about the artist.
Recently, C took the initiative and wrote to me. A lot.
I wrote back. Too much.
It was never a conversation just accusations and rebuttals. We ended falling back into the Pursuer-Distancer Dynamic. It’s unhealthy.
In those moments it is impossible to fully communicate the breadth of ideas, feelings, thoughts, needs, wants, passions, loves, and pains. I could still be writing her. So much more is communicated through a hug and crying together than can ever be communicated through the sweetest of letters.
Unfortunately, all we have are letters.
Almost at the same moment, we both recognized that we cannot truly articulate what needs to be said in writing in a way that reflects what is really happening. Now we are left to tend our own gardens. To heal our own wounds.
The reality is I’m sorry about my lies and betrayal of C. I know what I did was wrong. I did the best I could in the situation I created. If I could unring the bell I would. I would listen if she would tell me the truth about her pain and not the ghost stories but that is not the way and I am left to break the pattern without her.
Others have suggested I’m upset I got caught and not genuinely saddened by the loss of my relationship. They say I lack the tools to feel remorse or empathy. After all, they cry, “If you really love someone why would you cheat and lie?” They are projecting their own pain into our life.
What I have discovered is they don’t really want answers, it is easier to slap a label on me. After all, if you paint everything with a brush of labels you never really have to deal with the truth.
Is it any wonder people keep secrets?
A friend gave me a book by Mark Nepo. She is trying to help me keep things in perspective and find the balance between what is and isn’t, what matters and what doesn’t. She actually made time to get to know me and hear me. From Day 5, she has listened to me like I am someone worth loving and someone worth listening to.
Thank you for taking the time to see as a person and not as a label.
This is why I write.
The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
If I had experienced different things, I would have different things to say.
So often, I have felt troubled and guilty bearing witness to my pain, and yet, not to make things worse. Somehow, in saying just what mother had done in a cruel need to be the center, or what father couldn’t do it out of his fear of facing my mother; somehow, telling the truth as I know it makes me feel like a bad person — as if I’m making my pain up, as if I’m hurting others by saying bad things about them.
But the unshakable bottom of all this is that I’m not making things up. If I have unkind things to say, it is because I’ve experienced unkind things. And so, my only guide in this witness thing is to be accurate and honest. While I am not a victim, I didn’t ask for certain shaping experiences to happen to me. I didn’t ask to be slapped or ridiculed as a boy or to be mistreated by lifelong friends later life. In truth, if I had experienced different things, I would have different things to say.
What is most healing about bearing witness to things exactly as they are, including my own part in my pain, is that when the voice of the pain fits the pain, there is no room for Distortion or Illusion. And this way, truth becomes a clean bandage that heals, keeping dirt out of the wound.
To voice things as they are is the nearest medicine.