I awoke this morning to an e-mail from my Dad. He normally responds to me quickly but rarely initiates contact via e-mail. He had simply forwarded this to me
Reflections by Father Ron Rolheiser, OMI "On Mourning and Dancing"
I expected some old fogey chit-chatting about something that probably loosely applies to me...instead here is what I got
ON MOURNING AND DANCING Inside of our families, our friendships, our places of work, our churches, and even inside of many of our simple impersonal interactions with others in public life, we are constantly meeting either affirmation or rejection of some kind (a smile, a thank you, a compliment, a warm pat on the back, a recognition of a job well done, some other gesture of love, or, conversely, a coldness, a put-down, an insult, a criticism, a slight, a snub).
Whenever this happens we are powerless to protect ourselves against how this infects our psyche and our emotions. Lots of affirmation and we can easily find ourselves too full of ourselves and too empty of God and others. Too much coldness and rejection and we can easily find ourselves too empty of ourselves and of God's wonderful energy inside us.
I say this with empathy. Life is hard for everyone, particularly if you are trying to live in way that respects others even as you try to honor your own energies. If you are healthily sensitive it will always be a struggle: How do you properly honor, act out, and celebrate your own more-exuberant energies in ways that fully respect others and don't cross any moral or aesthetic lines? Not an easy formula. Too little allowance for exuberance and you will find yourself overly-reticent, tongue-tied, frustrated, sterile, and dealing with a lot of anger; too much unchecked exuberance and you will act out in ways that embarrass you and embarrass others.
And so we should accept this struggle as a given and not be too hard on others and ourselves. We're human and so we need to forgive each other and ourselves for being uptight and halting in our dance steps, even as we forgive others and ourselves for the acting-out we've done on those same dance-floors. There are very few free, fully healthy, persons in this world. Nobody dances perfectly.
WE ALL FEEL THAT WAY AT TIMES
It really doesn't matter your struggle, pain is personal. Who am I to judge someone else's pain and who should gauge mine? If it hurts, its hurts.
I've always admired my fathers ability to control his emotions. If I am "that bad" at it he is "that
good" at it. The article states
we are constantly meeting either affirmation or rejection of some kind
That tends to be blown up 100x for someone with BPD. We truly don't even fully know who we are. I spent 43 years trying to fit in, find my niche. As my life has moved on, my wife and I constantly get a chuckle out of things I used to say that I THOUGHT were defining me. Here are a few
"I never tried to fit in with one crowd in school, I did everything from Sports to theater and debate."
"No Good deed goes unpunished"
"They just don't get it"
There are more and when I say them now Michele is prone to chuckle or smile at me. These were "sayings" I lived, I believed.
Meanwhile my dance was flawed, all over the place and without much rhythm (Yikes- sorta describes how I do dance lol) There really is a parallel here, I hate dancing, won't go, have no rhythm, I think everyone is looking at me. I think that's how I view the analogy here. I wanna dance, I wanna be healed. I'm discovering my rhythm
Last week I discovered my therapist has an cd out. She sent me the link and I listened to every song. One stood out much more than the others. The song is "More"
Part of this song, to me, is about surrender. A crying out that I can not do this alone, that its ok to need help and I know where that help is. The truth is it is more than me, but its not more than God