Tuesday, April 24, 2012
As I was taking a photograph of my wilting vase tulip, you were the cause of the resulting effect--a blur.
And a blur is the way my eyes saw the world the past couple of days. I continued to complete my day-to-day tasks on auto-pilot: getting the kids off to school; preparing meals; being a caretaker. But my mind has been muddled by a jolt--one that rocked the center of my being.
I've spent most of my adult life practicing the things I preach to the kiddos. Be kind; be courteous; be responsible; be just. In the real world, when someone does not treat me in those ways, it is disheartening, particularly if it's a direct, face-to-face act.
For days now I've replayed the events in my head, over and over, like the repetition of a broken record. A million what ifs, a billion I shouldas. Like a novice driver who cannot merge to the outer lane in order to exit a circle on the road, I stayed--with trepidation and lost determination--on the inner lane, unable to get out. I drove around and around until dizziness took over, and the blur became vertigo.
The culture in which I grew up placed much value on humility. In its practice, one is to never be proud, overly self-confident, or assuming. Furthermore, when one receives a compliment, it is customary to very humbly refute the compliment and emphasize one's mediocrity. Although I have been in my western culture long enough to no longer observe the latter, apparently, I have not escaped the boundaries of the former.
So thus I wallow in my own world of pity before I move on. I trudge through thick fluid in the dark and breathe in whiffs of a familiar stench that tastes metallic on my tongue. I scream in a vacuum devoid of sound. I feel the painful prick of a pin that deflates the air in my lungs so that--no matter how quickly I inhale--I cannot replenish the oxygen depleting through that pinhole. I endure the throbbing ache in my chest when I am angry at myself for my lack of action, my meek personality, and my tendency to be overly considerate to others. I diminish.
But, I am surrounded by Happiness, Love, and Kindness; they are my family and friends. During this earthquake, I still see, however blurry my sights may be. I see that Time will make this all better, and leave a scar that adds another ingredient to my Wisdom recipe. I know that I must simply move through the stages of all the aftershocks, and ride through the ripples from the epicenter to get through this. I will find focus again, taste the sweet nectar of confidence once more, and turn that wheel, merge, and exit the damn circle with conviction to get to my destination. In the meantime, I bake banana muffins to speed along the healing.
Most importantly, I will have stayed true to myself. I will not have changed me in order to achieve something that betrays my Self. I will continue to be kind, and courteous, and responsible, and just, even when someone 'undid' all of those things to me. When I have moved through all the stages of this recovery, I will still be me.
So, Dear Jolt, I know that you must appear in our lives every now and then. And you almost certainly make unannounced, surprise visits. But do know that I am rooted by a decent sense of Self, and that it will be hard to knock me so far off my feet that I cannot get back up. I know I am still feeling your remaining effects, but once I patch that pinhole in my center, I shall once again breathe with ease and stability. The world will stop spinning, and I will see clearly again.