26 September 2011

Origins: The Turning Point

A friend was having a bad day this weekend. She wanted to destroy something so she could feel better, so she could see something as broken as she was feeling, so that she didn't feel so alone in feeling so broken. I found myself calmly telling her something that I'd learned over the past few years about how ineffective that tactic is. How the more we want to destroy something, the more broken and disconnected we become. I told her:

Accept that the world is going to be as beautiful as you allow it to be. Just as it allows you to be as beautiful as you are.

I learned this lesson about three years ago. The hard way. When I was separated from my wife.

I was feeling disconnected and abandoned in my marriage, I felt like not only were we but that I was somehow broken because despite all attempts to be happy in my marriage, I wasn't.

So we separated and it was the hardest thing I've ever done, to try to learn how to connect to the world without her.

During this time, I learned about who I was in relationships. I watched myself from the outside as I investigated where I had gone wrong in my past relationship. I watched myself build a new relationship and was surprised at what I discovered.

I discovered that by breaking my marriage I discovered what had been missing in it: me.

And I connect it back to the coma again. How when I woke up from the coma, I walked around always expecting to wake up again. My life felt like a dream. The coma was like this reset button on my ability to connect with people and I walked around with this invisible wall all around me. No one felt safe because everyone seemed temporary. And even when I thought I might have been connecting, I was merely observing them as through glass in an aquarium.

It didn't help that we moved around so often when I was a child. I never stuck around long enough to make any lasting connections or really learn how to make those connections.

My wife and I reconciled, but decided that marriage counseling would be best for us.

In counseling, I found myself talking a lot about myself and my insecurities and my fears of abandonment and being alone and I realized that I had been trying to destroy the marriage because I didn't feel safe in it and that I had felt abandoned again. My self-defense system was destruction, was dissolution, was burning bridges. It was in allowing the feeling of abandonment to become the reality.

But working through this with April--and April has her own set of issues too--taught me that abandonment doesn't have to be the reality. Disconnection and destruction do not have to be the response and in fact, when people choose this response, it is usually because they need the very thing that is symbolized by the thing they are destroying.

Accept that the world is going to be as beautiful as you allow it to be. Roque Dalton believes the world is beautiful and that poetry like bread is for everyone.

Take your slice, enjoy it, share it, and make more of it for everyone.

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