LOVE IS CONCRETE

My friend Angie gave a really cool talk last week (I'll get a link soon as I can; right now the feed's busted!), about what we do when we're desperate, and at the end of our rope. Turns out it's mostly resorting to unhealthy patterns. At least for me, I either give up or flip out--the ol' "I tried to solve my problem, it didn't work, I'm done" road or the "Aaah, this thing that has happened is not OK, I have bad feelings about it and I'm going to unload them on YOU, person who happens to be nearby!" road.

I don't like either of those roads. Problem is, I get overwhelmed easily. When I do I just want to medicate with beer, candy, video games, funny internet videos, whatever, and NOT DEAL with the problem--just push it out of the way so I can pretend it doesn't exist for just a little bit. If I can't ignore the problem--like someone won't let me, or it was an internal one to begin with--then I swing the other way, my emotions spiraling in a loop of panic and rage which I seek to justify by loudly blaming others around me. Not pretty.

There was a lot of cool stuff in Angie's talk, but the one thing that shone right in my face like a freaking lighthouse beacon was this: when you feel helpless, despairing, furious, self-loathing, abandoned, WHATEVER, just ask yourself this: "Is that the truth of this situation?"

Just that. A feeling seizes you, ask, "Is that the truth?" Someone tells you something hateful, ask, "Is that the truth?" You feel alone and unloved, ask, "Is that the truth?" I think if I can have just that much presence of mind in the throes of a personal demon, I just might be able to claw back from the abyss a little more often, find healthy solutions a little more often, spare my family pain a little more often, avoid regrets a little more often, have peace of mind and soul a little. more. often.

I'd like that.

Peace,
-Joel

PS Awhile back in my blog Story by the Throat, I was pondering how to pursue Story in everyday life. A very smart fellow suggested that the best stories emerged when we're stretched to the limits of our capabilities. Seems strongly related to the topic here.

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SOMETHING TO PONDER..

“There is plenty of courage among us for the abstract but not for the concrete.” - Helen Keller

“Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being "drawn toward." Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk.” - Carter Heyward

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