Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What's So Uncomfortable?

Voltaire said, “I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”


As I move further and further into life and further into and out of grief, I realize more and more how defiant I am about Voltaire’s words.  How steadfast I have been in this position much of my life.  How clumsily I have interrupted others at times, in order to defend a beloved’s right to speak her needed truth.

I have emerged from a “sentence” which has informed much of my adulthood and I can never go back into the silence I have emerged from.

Today I saw that I began to place myself there as if that would be the solution.  From feeling hurt and sad and harmed, I began to think that maybe just taking time away would simply feel better... But once I realized what I was doing, I caught myself in my raw grip and said “No.  Be uncomfortable and try something different.”

I made a call and and it was difficult.  We cannot expect others to stand where we do.  Show up as we do.  Dialogue the way we want to dialogue.  I read just yesterday that “expectations are nothing more than premeditated resentments.”  (I wish I knew who said that- I think it is genius!  It went around Twitter and various religious blogs... but I don’t know the original thinker... I wonder if it was VOLTAIRE?  Haaaah!  Haaaah!)

BrenĂ© Brown says the following: “I think if you love someone, and you’ve got a struggle that you’re not getting a response back to, then it’s incumbent upon you to reach back and say, ‘I love you, and here’s what I need from you.’” 

I believe in that “wholeheartedly.”  Goes right back to expectations.  It’s almost hostile to expect the other person to know what you need.  It’s insane, actually.  We are responsible for getting our own needs met.  Period.  But I also believe that one of the greatest acts of kindness we can offer one another is our honesty.  No matter how difficult it may be to speak or to hear.

I sat in a silence for 10 years wanting only to know the truth.  Once I heard it, (and it was undeniably awful) I could barely move.  But from that pain, I was actually able to make the decision to move forward.  And move forward from love.

When we withhold the truth from the people in our lives, what are we actually doing?  Why are we even engaging with them?  

Personally, I don’t know how to engage without a direct line to speaking truthfully.  I have memories of being the same way as a small child.  Exploiting lies and being hushed.  

Perhaps I was in a hurry to get to things faster... 

I notice that I get impatient at times when I ask a direct question and there are paragraphs and paragraphs of language spoken before anything of substance is addressed in reference to my question.  

I can, in fact, BE a very patient person.  

I have sat with terminally ill patients who have been strangers and who have been beloved.  And I have sat and sat and sat for days and days just “being with.”  Knowing that was all there was to do.  To simply show up and to love.

But when it comes to interpersonal fiery dynamics, I am very pitta and I require something else.  If I ask a question, I want a truthful answer spoken to me.  I don’t want silence on the other end of the phone.  I’d rather hear, “I’m not comfortable with this conversation.”  

Honesty.  I just want raw, unencumbered honesty.


Today I saw something in myself.  

I decided to withdraw from feeling deeply hurt and then I said to myself “but what good is that doing to your heart?”  So instead, I took a step towards... My compatriot was not eager to engage and decided we had already had this conversation.  But I pushed further.  I said I was angry and hurt because there was a behavior which was never once acknowledged.  Not once.  And I cannot step in and out without warning signs.  It is not acceptable to me.  All I ask is for the other person to own his or her part.  I don’t need to know why.  I don’t need to unpack it.  Even as my preferences would be to do both.  I just need the truth to be acknowledged.  That’s all.  Done.  


If you want to know me.  If you want to be a part of my life.  You have to speak the truth to me.

And you have to be willing to hear it from me.  

“I love you.  And this is what I need from you.”  

It’s actually pretty simple.  But it has to be a way of life.

That’s all.


Jill Bacharach

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year

2013 called me forth in every way imaginable.  Basically, it kicked the crap out of me.  It started earlier.  With a spinal surgery at the end of 2012.  So subsequently, I had the great fortune of beginning 2013 recovering.  And I was recovering on many levels.  

Yet, I was on a quest to heal.  But this quest was not a year old or 9 years old, it was ancient.  And in 2013 I entered the “dark night of the soul” in order to heal it.  I laid the gauntlet down and faced my greatest demons, my deepest wounds and subsequently hurt even deeper in order to begin the process of healing them.  That is the function of entering the dark night.  It is the beginning of suffering and hanging on through the pain because you have deep faith that there will be redemption from the pain at the end of it. 

2013 called me to task in every way possible.

I began to heal relationships which I have longed to heal for a very long time.  And I remember someone asking me how it felt to be “healing?”  I said it was painful.  It was and it is.  Healing sometimes, is in fact, PAINFUL.  I have learned this the hard way.  Each of us arrive where we do at our own pace and we are willing to be honest or vulnerable or fully human when we allow ourselves to be.  Part of healing a relationship is tolerating and “allowing” and forgiving each other our own humanity.

However, sometimes, a person need only show up and another is triggered and in pain.  I see this happen in families very often because the pain of the past hasn’t been healed or even spoken.  In families, we are often hemorrhaging into our past because we don’t get the opportunity to utilize one another to heal what remains unhealed.  Either because we have lost each other through death, alienation, fear, or worst of all, indifference.   

I have spoken a lot here about acceptance.  I have spoken a lot about the practice of forgiveness.  These are practices which we practice on our own.  Practices which we do for our own selves and for our own salvation.  

Recently, I heard someone say that the best thing to do is to have no expectations and to exist from “that place.”  That sounds smart and great in theory.  

Just expect nothing and be grateful.

But as I enter this next trip around the sun I wish to express the hard truth about who I am and how I aim to live in 2014 and beyond.

Here goes:  

I am going to live and express myself from my full power.

And rather than expecting NOTHING, I am going to continually expect to be MET.  Otherwise, whomever I encounter will only get what they offer.  No more no less.  

I am going to stay truthful and fiercely loyal to my boundaries and I won’t allow my boundaries to be breached.  

And I am going to continue to live every day with an open heart even in this world which can be cruel and crushing and which has hurt me in ways I wish to never encounter again.  

I am going to stay fiercely loyal to my heart which came here to love.  Every single day.  

And I will be wise with its compass but I will be determined to continue with its quest to love and to stay open to loving.  

To healing.

And to forgiving.

It all begins now.

May you be held in love.

January 1, 2014

Jill Bacharach