“Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone.” - Ella Wheeler Wilcox from 'Solitude’
I don’t want to ever give the impression that I have things figured out. I share things here that I am learning and things that help me in the hope that they may resonate or help others too, as well as to create a supportive community because I feel these topics are universal but we just do not talk about them enough. I deliberate at length what I will write about each week. There are so many choices, so many directions, but eventually one will feel right and I go with it. As with any human experience, there are difficulties that arise and I wish to reflect this. Sometimes I find that when I am in the midst of something, I can’t write about it or share it yet, as I haven’t made sense of it or it is too raw and so the words do not flow. In addition to this, I do not want to be gratuitous about what I share. Above all though, I write from the heart and want to be honest. So there is a balance to strike.
This week I have been conflicted and this has shown itself in my writing....or not writing this blog. I have had a particularly challenging week. Life in all its beauty has been throwing things my way and I have felt tested. As I talked about last week, if I sit and count them I can think of a multitude of things to be grateful for in my life and many things that have made me laugh and smile but just as I do not wish to be all dark, I also do not wish to be all light. This is not a true reflection of how things actually are in life. I think it is important that we acknowledge the pain of life too, not to wallow but to mark it, so that it does not lead to numbing and running from the pain and therefore not facing the underlying issues which will always resurface at some point, so why not face them now?
Interestingly, I have started attending a group called ‘Time for You’ run by the patient, thoughtful and wonderful Jo Ball, supported by Clare Gale. This is a supportive group for mothers of children with additional needs, employing creative writing, coaching and other creative tools. I urge you to check out www.mothers4achange.org . This week, Jo invited us to sit and write for 15 minutes on whatever came out fueling us to start with the line “Looking with the mirror of compassion I see...” and ending with the line “what I know now...”. I have decided to show you what I wrote, unedited and as I wrote it off the cuff:
“Looking with the mirror of compassion I see her there alone in the corner. Lonely. No one else understands how she feels. She is full, full with feeling. Pregnant with sadness, filling her middle, her stomach, her heart. She hugs herself tightly. She soothes herself. She carries the world on her back. It’s ok to put it down she thinks, in this moment I can decide not to hold this. So she does. She uncurls herself and lies flat on the ground. She sees the sky, so vast, so blue, with clouds evolving and changing above her. Everything changes. Nothing is permanent. She breathes, in and out, cradled by the earth. It grounds her. No one can find her here. No one can interrupt her here. No one can judge her here. The trees around gently move as the breeze flows through the trees. There is movement in the periphery of her vision: there is a hare. It comes closer, it looks at her with compassion. It knows. She is not alone after all. She feels the warmth and the love radiating from this other being. We feel pain. We feel hope. It will be ok. Winter is changing to spring and the buds start unfurling. The green shoots are there. Even though it feels cold, there is warmth. Even though it feels dark, there is light. What I know now is that everything changes, even this will pass, and I am not truly alone.”
On leaving the group this week, one of the other mums said to me “I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I thought that everyone else had it together”, reflecting beautifully exactly what I have so often thought since being a mother, though of course we are not really the only ones. So I put myself out there in the hope that you take it as I write it, showing that we are not alone with our difficult feelings. We all feel this sometimes, right? Weep, and the world can weep with you.
“Writing is a form of nakedness, it represents you in detail. The process of writing resembles yourself.” - Marni Jackson
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