So I had another post written for today, and it disappeared from my notes app. It was there, opened a different app, then switched back and gone.
It started with an apology for going on an unbounded break for a couple weeks. Wended its way through ideas on perspective and attention and us clapping at the wrong things (insert Salinger quote) and made excellent commentary on recent terrorist events and how whatever justice we seek would simply be another act of terror.
It talked about facing fears and looking at ourselves in a different way.
It ended with a list of things I wish we’d clap for like tolerance and cooperation and compassion and more. And there were good ideas about kind thoughts and celebrating victory rather than destruction. Building rather than destroying.
And then…system shut down.
And so it goes.
Life has been busy. Time strained. And while there were important ideas in what I wrote, they were not what really needed to be shared this week. The whole post was an avoidance of my experience. Spurred by cards and phone calls from past family connections.
(Deleted three paragraphs of another avoidance)
Let’s say my family and I broke up two years ago. And haven’t spoken since. Not really anyway. It had been a bad relationship for decades but the final parting was two years ago. It wasn’t pretty but it was inevitable.
It came down to a difference in values. What was deemed important.
(Deleted more avoidance)
I was angry and hurt at first. I did a fair share of denying that though. There were also moments of peace; I felt free for once. Obligation no longer fettered me. I had distance and clarity. I saw the difference between my ideal and the actual.
I have forgiven them for their side of things. Did that fairly early on. I see they are only doing the best they were capable of. I see they were caught up in how they expeced the world to work and it didn’t converge with how I saw things.
It’s been a longer road to forgiving myself. The recent reach outs on their part have pulled at some guilt strings. But yesterday I realized that they don’t add value to my life. Simple as that. And I don’t have anything to add to theirs either.
We did at some point. I gained and was shaped by their influence. But at this point there is nothing but memory. The exchange of value ended long ago, probably when the first cracks in the relationship started forming.
And I did what we are all taught to do. Hold on tighter, fix the breaks, because without family you have nothing. But all that’s a waste of energy. It’s trying to hold on to something that doesn’t exist anymore.
I guess yesterday I stopped wasting the energy. I accepted that the only relationship with the family I grew up around is over. And clinging to it only blocks me from experiences in the present with the family I’ve co-created.
I let go of the disappointments, the hurt, the anger, the sadness. They don’t add value. They aren’t anything to carry around anymore. I can forgive myself for hanging on to the broken pieces and pretending they were still whole. And I can appreciate the shards for what they are now.
And most importantly have my hands empty for whatever comes along next.