stuff I wished I knew a long time ago

If I had heard these statements when I was younger there’s no guarantee I would have listened or remembered so that may be why it took me this long to understand. If any of these become Facebook memes give me author credit, thanks.

Everything is temporary, life is temporary. Even when something feels excruciating and seems to stretch to forever it really doesn’t. I try to remember this at stoplights.

Most of the things we agonize over are really minor. Their importance is concentrated in that moment but when seen from a decent enough distance that importance fades. It even looks ludicrous. This one came to me in yoga class when I couldn’t do the vine in a bent warrior 2 pose. Also occurred again today after my alma mater lost their first game this season, ending their unbeaten streak. It sucked but there’s no real damage.

Most people who feel they will die of a broken heart do not. This is because it is impossible to feel that level of pain and agony indefinitely. You can be utterly miserable but life will eventually intrude and take your mind away from what is torturing you. You will have to get up and go to the bathroom at some point, your body will wear itself out and you will sleep if only for a short time. Life in the form of other people, your job, school or responsibility will force you up, your cat will demand to be fed. It may make you angry, feeling so miserable ought to get you out of dealing with people, with life, you only want to live with the pain and be left alone in your hurt. But this interruption is really mercy in disguise. It will not look or feel like mercy, mercy is letting you suffer til you die, not this. But to continue this feeling takes a lot more energy and determination than most people are capable of generating. Of course a truly stubborn person can sustain this for longer periods but even then you slip a little. Maybe fatigue sets in, maybe realizing you can’t change events that have already happened no matter what you do now sinks in.

Acceptance doesn’t mean you like what has happened, or that you agree with a decision. It means you acknowledge it, don’t lie to yourself or deny the truth. It means a thing, an event, a state of being is. You don’t let yourself get twisted in “what if” and wonder if you could have done something differently, that way leads to madness and frustration. Perhaps it wouldn’t have changed anything, no matter what you might have done differently it is too late. Harsh, but sometimes you have to be hard on yourself just to keep going. I wish I learned this one a long time ago,  it would have saved me so much guilt. I was raised to make nice, to apologize when I wasn’t sorry or it wasn’t my fault, and forced to say a horrible thing was actually good when I knew better, like a bad perm.

Acceptance can be instant. I accepted that  Jerry was gone, I saw and touched him after he died. I stood watching the paramedics try in vain to bring him back to life but I knew it was already too late. Yet there were aftershocks, being reminded in weird and unexpected ways that he was really gone. Acceptance may be instant but still be an on-going process.

This song scared me. It was eerie, too much like what happened that morning I found him, when he wouldn’t wake up. I’m still stunned at how it seems like someone had watched me, watched us and just wrote what happened.  I hadn’t been able to listen to it again until now.





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