Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Thursday, June 5, 2014

"Like Them"

I sat with my beloved friend today. She is a force of tenderness who, with one look, can help me feel like I could literally take on the world and also melt into a million pieces. I feel so deeply loved by her in a way that it disorients me. She has been the most influential person in my life. And I cannot utter her name without an ocean of hope and deep abiding love welling up inside me.

Today she didn’t understand something which I need to understand more than anyone. I sit now, feeling guilty for asking her to bear witness to my pain. She’s seen enough of it. Truly. 

I sat with her and much of what I did was cry. I cried and cried and cried and cried.

I was catching her up on the very painful narrative of what I had set about to heal in my life this last year, which turned out to hurt me almost unbearably. 

Like many, I have had a history of being abandoned in my family of origin. The pattern is very real and very deep. And I have always been so very cautious to not be someone who would abandon another. 

Yet, the last few days, I made a decision which was causing me to feel like I had abandoned someone I have loved and the reaction was activating something inside of me which was terribly painful, and I would even go so far as to say, “harrowing.”

It was my worst fear.

“I am just like them.”

So the pain of that was what was playing over and over and over inside of me today while I was with my cherished friend. Oy, I am really carrying this!

As I sit now, in my home with my beloved dog, who is so deeply settled next to me after a nice walk, with ice in my glass, listening to his breath, which always lifts my heart and changes my posture, I am realizing something else.

“I am just like them.”

“I do abandon people.”

Every single time I have felt “that” pain, and I know the pain I mean, I have been abandoning myself for the sake of not wanting “to be just like them.” What a laugh! When you run from fear, it comes running after you and it is always faster!

So big deal!

I am not going to fall to pieces. 

I am just going to stop it. 

Because as I wrote here long ago, (and I knew I was onto something when I wrote it): 

The only way to heal a life is to not repeat a pattern.

So what. I am like them. But I also have awareness and agency over my choices. 

I have boundaries. And I exercise them. And I am proud of that. And I am no longer going to spend unnecessary minutes or hours or weeks or months or years explaining what I need and therefore, abandoning myself, and losing myself, to the point where there is no self left to love.

I forgive my family for abandoning me. 

I forgive myself for not being able to stick with my last relationship. 

I need to keep forgiving myself for all of the times I have abandoned myself. There have been many. 

But it stops now. And if I mess up, I start over and it stops again.

My friend calls me an orphan. I know I am not alone in that. 

Right now feels pretty great, actually. Because I am looking at myself as clearly as I can with so much love and I am no longer afraid of the very thing which I believed would completely dismantle me.

So… I guess I can take on the world now. 

Where should I start? 


Jill Bacharach

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