I’m fighting these “inappropriate things” a lot recently. I think maybe the final vestiges of the marriage collar have worn off.
And that’s kind of a story in and of itself, eh?
Some of you know, some of you don’t, that Joe and I have been married for six years now, but the last year has been spent in separation, and that’s not really going to change any time soon. Like, at all. We’re only holding off on filing for divorce until I get to a place where I can afford insurance and to pay my own taxes. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a big deal when you’re budgeted almost to the hilt and then crazy things keep happening, like your two-year-old gets a brain tumor or these pesky kids decide that they really like eating or something…
And some of you may also know that this past week was Toby’s birthday. Toby was Joe’s and my son who was stillborn five years ago. The funny thing about death (especially one so personal and intense) is that while it sucks to have to go through such immense grieving, it’s also the universe’s way of teaching you things. We go through the grieving process again and again, but each time is a little different, has a different theme or lesson, and generally it gets a little easier.
(So, if I was short or weird with any of you in this past week, this is probably why.)
The theme this year was apparently the lesson of Love.
I had the beautiful opportunity to do a client session with a lovely lady yesterday, and I found myself using a brilliant analogy. Humans, in their most basic format, really only feel two emotions – Love and Fear. Our limbic and neocortex evolution has enabled us to experience those two emotions in a multitude of ways, refining and expressing them as anger, frustration, agape, eros, grief, jealousy, desire, etc., but at the very foundation of us, it is only these two core elements. These core elements are only emotions, however, and all emotions – no matter how intense – are passive. You have to choose to do something with them.
Yes, intense emotions can drive an impulse to make you want to do something rash – beat the crap out of someone or kiss them passionately in a skate park – but whether you do it or not is really your choice. There is no excuse for crimes of passion except where people do not understand that their power of choice is the key.
When we explore the problem of grief and the lessons it teaches us about love, we are faced with the reality that it is not always loving someone that is a choice (although, to a degree, it can be) but rather what we do with that love that defines our responsibility (specifically, our ability to respond). When we feel that connection with a person, we have to choose what to do with it, and we have to allow ourselves to be a little practical about what those options truly are.
With Toby, I had to decide how best my love for him was served. Did I do him or me or anyone else that I love any good by gnashing my teeth and tearing my hair in never-ending sorrow? Or are we all served far better by appreciating only the experience that we had and to let the rest of the world unfold before us?
Death and the universe do not care for our contrived and small concepts of fairness or even “good and evil”. These things do not make the stars turn or the worlds spin. We can only apply them to our own experiences and choices, and by extension we must simultaneously allow ourselves to respect other people’s choices in how they use these concepts – even if it is inconsistent with what we would choose for ourselves or for them.
So, how is this inappropriate?
Well, you see, I have this problem… and by “problem”, I mean an equation that I would like to solve. It involves very human elements, and I’m finding myself challenged by my impulse to enforce scientific method because I know what I want the answer to be. I could, in theory, manipulate or arrange things so that I would get the answer that I want – and I want that answer so very, very much – but that wouldn’t necessarily be the best thing for everyone involved. And more than that, there’s this Law of Observation that states that observing certain phenomena can change the nature of them, so investigating potential variables of the equation is also not a clear-cut option.
You know me and my impulse to solve things. I want answers, or I want to know that I can work on answers, but like the scenario that requires a report to be finished only by the slow and complicated work of someone else, the drive to finish the job has to wait. And the waiting is excruciating.
But, once again, what we choose to do with our emotions is our business and our responsibility. Right now, I’m going to take these emotions and put them on the back-burner (again), and I’m going to pray (in my own fashion) that they don’t develop a mind of their own and start pulling my strings. You know how much I hate that…
Also, if you missed the tweets yesterday, the whole riddle is this:
Old doors are things of the past,Sometimes you must go sideways.The newer portals will not be the lastAnd they exist in definite days.The pieces of keys still scattered ‘roundMust collect to singularityFear not the leap of mysterious boundBut seek me with alacrity.