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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas. Is that what it is? I feel like I am supposed to be excited about Christmas and all of the fun and family adventures that it brings. But in reality I am really having a hard time feeling excited about it this year. Oh I could give you a list of all the reasons that I have not to be excited about a (holiday?) that seems to bring out the worst of consumerism in everyone and seems to bring all kinds of family issues to the forefront for so many people. But that isn't really the point is it and I suppose I might feel a little bit different if I had children around me who were excited about this time of year.

So believe me when I tell you that I get it. I get that I am perhaps being a little bit silly and perhaps wallowing in my being alone. So to speak. I do not mind being alone. I enjoy it for the most part and it is a life that I have pretty much actively  chosen. I also realize that I am not actually alone. I do have friends and family and friends that are like family around me. But there are times when that doesn't seem to be enough. There are people who are not around anymore and who will never be around and I miss them. I also realize that missing them is not going to bring them back to me and that feeling sad about missing them is where a lot of the pain is coming from. I am actively working on trying to be more Buddhist in my daily life. I meditate and try to be more mindful of things and to live in the present. But it is not that simple at times.

I suppose it is the normal cycle of things to feel like one is doing well and then to feel like one is doing poorly and to feel like the world is closing in around them. I know that this is probably the first year in several years if not my entire life that the darkness of the winter in the pacific northwest is getting to me. I am feeling the gloom of the dark and rainy days. I am finally understanding what some of my friends talk about when they talk about how bad the weather is here in the wintertime. But really I know what the problem is and it is one that I am almost sick of writing about but for me writing about it is the best way to get it out and to release it into the universe.

I miss you Eric. I hate that you aren't here. One of my favorite things about this time of year was Christmas mornings with you and Devyn and my and Nicoles little house. I loved being there with your parents and you two and sharing that experience. It always made me feel like you were living with us again and I really missed that. After the divorce happened I really missed having you around I missed you being a part of my life. It mean't so much to me that you kept me around and connected. You didn't have any reason to do that. So many people would have walked away. It probably would have been easier for so many people to walk away and you didn't. This mean't the world to me. I do not know if I ever expressed that enough to you.

None of that matters now. You are gone. So many things that I would love to share with you. But that is over. That was a moment in time that will never return and most of the time I do a good job of shutting it down inside me and pretending that the empty hole doesn't exist. But then it all builds up and it is like the hole overflows with the emptiness and it all must come pouring out of me or I will be overwhelmed by it. I sometimes wonder how others function with all of this. I sometimes wonder how I am functioning with all of this. But going on seems to be the only option. To not is not something that I can do or that I want to do. I have no interest in that. What I have an interest in is loving others and caring for others and trying to making the lives of people around me better.

I am not writing this as some kind of cry for help. I am in no danger of hurting myself. I just have a hard time understanding how other people are able to process this. I know that we are all facing our own journeys and that the struggle is different for all of us. So trying to stand outside of someones life and judge how they are doing is a pretty pointless exercise and one that isn't beneficial to either of us. But knowing these things doesn't take my empathy away from me and often the pain that I feel within that is so strong. I think in some way that is why I love music so much because I can lose myself in the emotion of it without losing myself in the pain that others are feeling. I think that it allows me to empty myself so that I can be filled up again. That cycle never seems to stop. I am not trying to pat myself on the back or shake my own hand here. I am just recognizing where the feelings come from inside of me and where they go.

All of this coming back to I love you and miss you Eric. Sometimes I am mad at you for leaving. I still do not understand it and I do not know that I ever will. I think that if I ever understand it I may be to close to the darkness inside of myself and I do not want that. The darkness is there and it is ever-present but it is not overwhelming and it does not push at me or seem to desire growth. But for me to deny that it exists would mean lying to myself and to others who do care about me. The darkness is part of who I am and it is also a part of my being able to care for others. I am not scared of it nor do I wallow in it. But it is a part of me. Just like love is a part of me and that part of me is the largest part of me. The love in me outshines the darkness and while the world does get me down at times I know that the love does shine through. It isn't the love that I used to think of when I was a small child and was going to bible school. I know that and I am okay with that. I sometimes feel the limits of language when I write like this and I feel limited and unable to fully articulate the complexity of my feelings. But that is what it comes down to for me. I desperately want others to not have to feel pain and fear to not have to feel anger and hate. I want to be able to take that from them and hold it within myself for a time before releasing it.

When I hug someone I want them to know that I am present and that I feel them and see them there in whatever space they are in. That I will not judge them. That compassion and empathy are all that I want to bring to the encounter. To leave them feeling better and to leave knowing that I have taken some of their pain away and lightened their load. That is all that I want. The world is hard enough without us being mean to each other. I am by no means perfect and I fail but I have to keep trying. Otherwise there is no point and for me loving others is the point. The only point. I do not know who if anyone will actually read this but here it is. Please know that I love you and if you need something please let me know. I will do what I can to be there in some form or the other.

Be well and know that I love you. Thanks for reading this. 
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