Loss and anger and life is not a maze but a labyrinth
(The more useless skin we shed, the freer we become)
I find myself very angry with John, a good friend who died unexpectedly and I believe uselessly. I believe that I barely see it, or feel it, yet I experience its power deep within. Like a deep wound covered over by a lot of scabs. A painful image, yet one that shows that deep pain can be there, doing its work, without me being all that aware of it. Perhaps the anger that I feel, is something I have for all those who have died whom I loved. My friend Donna Janzar for instances. She died of cancer, I loved her and now she is gone. I think it is the anger and sorrow of a 2-year-old. Who lived in a world for a short time (though a year’s time for a two-year old is very long indeed) where I was abandoned (or felt that I was). Just dropped off in a home that was really not too friendly, it was a dark place for me. Yet it was the nature of life for a two-year old, and I adapted, watched, did not trust and ignored my parents when they came for a visit, for they were going to leave again.
At two I woke up and was sort of like an adult, yet without the ability to reason, though my intuition became my way of seeing and understanding my surroundings, rightly or wrongly. I hated where I was but did not know I hated it. I was fearful, but thought, it just life, and could not name it. I was like a feral cat inside, I believe, but adapted outside to my surroundings. My rage even then was hidden because I intuited that everyone was way too big for me to be able to do anything about my situation.
Put here, placed there, told what to eat etc. I never liked being young and only started being happy as I aged. So the older I get, the happier I get. Yet that two-year-old is still there, watching, waiting and very angry. I have found my peace with him, for he is me still, though not in charge, thank God. What is good for a two-year-old, is not in any way good or healthy for a man almost 69 years of age.
(Though as I aged I understood that my perceptions were wrong. My parents did not abandon me, what they did was necessary and when the year was over they were always there for me. Yet a wound is a wound and takes time to heal. The fact that we became a family again lessened the effect of my ‘so called’ abandonment. )
When a child and all the way through High School, I was often intrigued on how my brothers could have friends, how people stuck to them, while with me it never happened. It was not like I wanted friends, did not feel the need, yet I wondered how it worked. I did have a few that I guess I loved and were friends with, though I did not know it. I think I did not pick up clues when young, clueless I was. Happy to say, I got back in touch with all of them when the internet became common. The fact that I remembered those I cared for in High School shows that I, in fact, had friends but did not know it.
There are a lot of bits and pieces ‘of’ me that are becoming quieter as they draw closer together. Though the process is still a long way off where they will all come together. My faith I believe is allowing this to happen. My anger, and fears, and wounds, so deep that I barely feel them, are not my enemies but are actually seeking my attention by being a vexation. Some of these aspects of myself were needed when very young to protect me and warn me and keep me safe…..now they are still trying to protect me in ways that I don’t need.
So I am still on the way, and the Lord is patient with me. Calling me, giving me strength when needed and allowing me to experience my own inner chaos so that I can understand that there is a great deal about me that I do not really now about. I see the tip of a very large iceberg. Yet the load is getting lighter, though not at the speed I would like. I limp when I would want to run, fall when I want to be victorious, and finding out that my unconscious can be in charge more often that I would like to really consider, but have to. Such is the reality of pain, the goad that pushes forward.
I think most people feel different and unique and yes neither seen nor understood. Perhaps it is the most common feeling that we as a species have. I believe that these feelings are true, though they point to the uniqueness of each of us. The most common thing about being human is that deep within we are unique and that is what helps us to interpret reality, for good or ill. Once that is understood, we can reintegrate once again with all the other ‘weird’ people. Once that is understood, it is found out that there are no weird people, just those who are different and gifted in other ways.
For myself, I have come to the realization that life is not a maze but rather a labyrinth. Many turns, that seem to take me from the center, but if I continue on the journey in trust, in spite of the many voices that seek to keep me ‘safe’, I will arrive at the center. It is despair and cynicism that make a turn of the labyrinth into a wall and life can seem like a maze, because then all one can do is run in circles. Suffering is the shedding process, fear of suffering only leads to deeper suffering and chaos. During the twist and turns of life, we are never alone, faith helps us to keep the light in front of us even when it seems absent, or so bright that we only see darkness.