A few weeks ago I had a conversations with a friend of almost 25 years, we have been around in each others’ lives off and on through college, marriages, divorces, kids, school, deaths…. We have seen each other in many life events. They said something to me that has resonated in my mind and I couldn’t quite figure it out until I was talking with another friend yesterday, having one of those moments of clarity. They said, “you are just not put together like the rest of us.”
Not being put together like the rest of us? This arose during a conversation on patience, forgiveness and strength but I didn’t think it quite fit in there. Sure I try to live a life with compassion, focusing on accepting apologies and offering forgiveness so I am living without a heavy heart, sure I try to be patient and empathetic considering the others’ perspective, and sure I have had to find my inner strength to persevere but am I really that different? Why did they say that? While I have not often feel I fit in was my discomfort with my place in life that obvious? The moment of clarity came when I was considering why I was struggling with patience at some level but have a wealth of it at another, how I can be empathetic but am lost on how to be supportive; all those pieces clicked.
In that moment, I realized that the reason I was so different was not in my makeup but a learned behavior. I process things at warp speed, looking at the situation from all sides, rational consideration as to the solution and then proceed with the recovery. I was never afforded the luxury of pausing in the moment, I had to learn to rush in, to fix the problem, to repair the damage and prepare for the next catastrophe all the while trying to maintain stability and keeping an eye on the surroundings.
That is not the way life should be lived; this old dog needs to try and learn a new trick. There are things which need to sit in silence, there are things that only time and patience can repair, there are things that can never be rectified where the only resolution is to collect the pieces and chart a new path assembling what remains. There are times that people just need an ear and no consolation can remedy the ailment. There are times that a hug can hold the pieces together and silence can allow for pain to wash away. There are times that my eyes need to see the world from a new perspective. The things I have learned sitting in silence holding vigil.
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” ― Fred Rogers