Existence is a fraught journey

The problem with understanding things is that you understand them.

So when you interact with the world, you do so with that understanding. And what may seem like an ‘of course’ to you may seem like an insurmountable obstacle to others. What seems simple to you, seems like magic to them.

Technology is the easiest example. What I view as common and everyday is something many would find to be frustrating and opaque.

And when that understanding moves beyond the realm of physical things…you’re distance from others grows as well. Because the world you are experiencing is not the world they are experiencing.

I often say to myself, “Sonder.”

Sonder is the understanding that each being you experience is living an entire reality that you cannot understand.

And it applies to yourself as well. The life you are experiencing, cannot be fully understood by anyone else.

We can be truthful. We can be open and honest. We can be emotionally intelligent and caring. But our understanding of our reality means that we will leave things out of that discourse. Because, to us, it is a given. Something we just accept and know.

This is why we experience pushback when we explain things to people. Because our inherent understanding is different from their inherent understanding. And what they perceive as real is not what you perceive as real. Not fully. Not completely. Even when you approach parity.

All we can do is understand where they are coming from, as much as possible, and meet them where they are.

And beyond that, be humble. Because what you understand needs to evolve. You cannot rest on your own understanding. Stagnation is death.

Dipping below the faultline

Wash hands in broken glass
This smoke curls
Burns away blood

Consonant spill but
The waves never make it
To ears

Frantic replies
Ignored missives
Friends when needed

But just this smoke
And blood
Else times

Treatment like a cloudy needle
To make you feel…better
Used and discarded

Scattered in the shattered glass
You use to cut yourself
To remind

This is living

Sitting on the sidelines

You self identify as the thing that you hate because by embracing it you can make it a little bit yours even though it’s what is destroying you. You keep running on that treadmill needing to control something, anything, drowning in socially acceptable positive self image when what really needs to change is this situation where neglect of your needs and desires is the best you can hope for. But I can’t make the choice for you, I can only sit here telling you that you are valued for the things other than what you do for other people. That you are valued for your self and hope that some day you will listen and that this thought will work it’s way into you past your defenses that say you are not worth enough, not doing enough, not human enough to get the things you need without destroying yourself, that you must fit into the mold that they impress upon you to have value.

I’ve read your art and seen it and that glimmer in your eye is passion and unshed tears for this future you give up to fit. It’s never the right time, enough time, always busy, always in motion but never for the pieces of you that can break you free.

You’re fighting so hard to be this perfect thing that you are hurting who you are and it’s terrifying to watch and I’d make it all stop but you won’t let me. I’m happy you say with a smile that never reaches your eyes. I love him you say like a talisman you hold out in front of you. While his expectations and silence chip away at the pieces you try to slip past your walls.

Love does not destroy like that. To be sure it is destructive but it’s passage is marked by rebirth, by growth, by joy and waking. But you love him, you say. And I can’t keep pushing because each time I do you pull back a little more. I just want you to see what I see. To wake up. To see what everyone but you sees in your tone and words. Your discontent. Not wanting to be here but when you are there you aren’t comfortable either.

Watching your pain. But I am not allowed to act.

Those that see

That which is dream is more than dream
That which is hope is more than hope
These words are the only touch I have
And the passing time begins to break me

Those that are loved are more than loved
Those that are seen are never hidden
These thoughts keep me seeking
And the thought that I’m missing something begins to break me

Those that speak are more than words
Those that desire are more than hoped
These thoughts physically hurt me
And the pain of speaking is only exceeded by the endless silence

Empathy cuts sharper than blades

Is it as painful for you as it is to me to watch a relationship falter? To watch it fail? I don’t mean from abuse or betrayal, that’s something else entire. No, I mean from missteps, from mistaken interpretation, from inaction, from neglect. Watching it all unfold and being unable to act. Because this is completely personal and I am on the outside. I can’t say something because I am not a good enough friend to say something. But it tears me up to watch it. I want to help. To show them what I see, but I can’t do that without trust. So I’m relegated to a watcher role. Helpless as it falls apart.

I know I’m not great at seeing the same fault lines in my own relationships. But maybe that’s because a little suspicion,  in that case, is more destructive than trust.  If I trust and it fails then at least I can feel OK that I acted in good faith. If I give in to my more cautious mind, then at the end, I will always second guess that action. That’s a greater burden than the truth.  

Maybe that’s why it’s so painful to watch in others.  I just want to shake them and say, share what’s in your heart.  It may hurt but you’ll rarely feel so hurt that you don’t heal.  Doubt and regret are worse than loss.  

A thing that I say.1

No, I may not be into this thing you love but I’m into you. Show me your world. Show me the beauty of the things you love. Seeing them through your eyes, I will come to appreciate them at the least because you enjoy them. Because I enjoy when you are happy. At best I will love them as you do and we can share the experience. But don’t cut me out because you fear what I say. I don’t judge strangers. Why would I judge someone I actually like.