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Monday, April 8, 2013

My Word is My Bond

I haven’t posted lately because my heart isn’t in it right now.  So far, the Cymbalta hasn’t made that much difference, but I need to give it more time.  It will be four weeks at the end of this week.  That’s a week longer than people told me it would kick in.     I’ve been lying here, recalling things.

Many years ago, I did the est Training.   For those who don’t know what that was (the name was changed a few times and I lost track of its current title, if it’s even around), it’s kind of hard to explain.  Basically, it was two intense weekends and one day in between of “Being Here Now” that was, at the time, a very new and exciting concept.  Much of what I took away with me is now part of the everyday lexicon everywhere.  But at the time?  Intense.  Heavy.  I was involved with it for two years as a volunteer.  Personal responsibility was a big, big theme, as was keeping your word no matter what, unless you have an agreement with the other person to change something.  Good advice.

Anyway, one of the many things that they said all the time was that “Life is empty and meaningless….it’s up to you to fill it”   It took me a while to understand that at the time.  They just always simplified things by banging the tar out of our way of thinking.  I remember meeting a woman at the in-between day training.  Her name was the same as mine, which is why she stuck in my mind.  But beyond that, she was fun.  I was looking forward to seeing her on the next weekend.  So the second weekend arrives, and an hour into the lecture (there were over 200 of us) the facilitator announces that the woman, Sherri, had been killed in a car accident on the way to today’s sessions.  And he added, “So she broke her agreement” and went on with the lecture like “no big deal”.  

I was so outraged my jaw dropped.  I could tell half the room stopped listening and a few walked out (thought they probably didn’t get far…they always had “volunteers” to bring you back…well, not like the mafia, if you wanted to leave you could, but they tried like heck to keep you there) and generally, no one was paying attention anymore.  I finally raised my hand.  He called on me and I rammed into him with all I had, the crowd cheering me on.  I called him disrespectful, outrageous and a bunch of other adjectives.  He let me rant and when I was finished he asked if he could talk now.  I nodded.  Then he said something that has stuck with me for the last 30 years.

He said “What I said was true and I stand by it.  What you are adding to what I said is what is making you mad.  You think I mean to say she’s wrong, or that it’s her fault.  I said no such thing.  All I said is she won’t be keeping her agreement.  And she won’t.  It is or it isn’t, no?”  His words stopped me cold.  I thought about all the zillions of times I do that….add something that isn’t there.  I’ve never been a gossip, but my inner thoughts are often accusatory and wrong.  People do what they do and quite literally, it has nothing to do with anyone else.
For instance, we stop seeing someone (from a romantic interest to a doctor, doesn’t matter) because the person doesn’t fit with who we are or what we want; but it almost never has anything to do with them.  I added “almost” because of the psychopath exception, which is, you must admit, rare.  Unless you watch “Criminal Minds” or one of the myriad of other horrific shows about serial killers, etc. which make it look like they are on every street corner.

Okay…I’m in pain.  And it’s just pain.  It does not mean G-d hates me, or I’m being punished, or it’s Karma, it’s this, it’s that.  IT’S JUST PAIN.  And pain, as Linus (from “Peanuts”) says, hurts.

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