Temporarily tattooed words,
over my heart-
across my breasts.
Mirror opposites for your view,
Though the ink disappears,
all feelings remain.
Redundant shields failing-
and to the victor go the spoils.
Spoils of anger;
spoils of fear; and
spoils of doubt.
There’s no way to plan tactically-
when there is no consistency;
it is like trying to flank cats…
Knowing what we need
also…. communicating it?
Ah…. that’s the secret.
Feelings can be stifled-
How much can one heart hold:
Swelling and contracting
Heaving like a deep breathing chest
Rising and falling;
like rapid cycling moods.
Hearts can heal
All too often it seems
Just in time to break-
Love is a tricky bitch.
Hope is a fickle mistress.
I had the most interesting insight today. To be honest, I will probably be reconciling and revisiting it over the next little bit. As I sat listening to a client today, I made note of a realization I had to contemplate later. Lucky you, I am doing that now.
I’ve noticed over the years that I am able to connect with people because somehow I am able to find something in them, experientially or otherwise that I can empathize with. I used to joke that I was a good social worker because I could identify with every Lana Del Rey song. More sad than funny now, I suppose, but still true enough ha.
During grad school, I often allowed myself to feel badly about this, as it was labeled countertransference. And if I am honest with myself, sometimes it may have been negative countertransference, for sure. But we learn to check our biases, as much as we can, as continually attempting to be informed humans. And the dance between empathy and countertransference is certainly a tricky one to navigate.
But what got me today, was realizing how easily I could understand the reasons, internal and external, subconscious and conscious, that this client was making the decisions that they were making. And I realized that I understood them because I had made the exact same decisions once before, for the nearly identical reasons.
All the parts of my personality and situation were right in front of me…
All the parts I have hated, questioned, forgotten, burned, and buried…
All of them.
And I felt no hatred, no questioning, no judgment for the client. It all made perfect sense.
But it was a grace I have struggled to provide within. As if I didn’t deserve compassion at all, let alone from myself. I have always felt a certain level of shame about some decisions I made in my earlier adulthood; even shame regarding smaller decisions I have made, more recently than that.
I have rarely felt any animosity or disdain toward a client, as I feel like I can understand so much of the reasons people do the things they do. Regardless of whether it is experiential understanding or trauma informed book learning, I can still understand most situations that humans end up in. (Mind you, I said MOST not all).
Yet the amount of doubt, anger, loathing, disgust, and pity I have felt for the younger versions of myself?
Vast. Expansive. Shifting. Sinking. Consuming.
I have BEEN Artax.
And yet, looking at myself, tonight, as I would a client?
Never before seen footage of a grown ass woman heffalumping sobs of forgiveness and understanding. That was a long drive home. Good gracious.
Who even the eff am I?
Venn diagrams of romantic love;
Do we teach?
Do we learn?
Love or fear?
There are only two paths…
Neurologically speaking in fact, through the Limbic.
All choices guided by one or the other:
Love? Trust? Be?
As the verb or the noun?
Pair bonds… cultural or chemical?
They are not the same…
Labels do not cement:
What is the choice?
Ah, but sweet limerence…
Fear of missing out,
Hedge your bets,
Invest no time, OR
Even if the one who gives me butterflies doesn’t recognize it. I’m tired of doubting myself and trying to understand what about ME isn’t conforming to their standards.
All of them.
I am enough. In fact, I might just be too much. I’m not missing out on them. They are missing out on me. I’m tired of dulling my glimmer to keep from outshining them. I’m tired of feeling sheepish when they tell me I’m “intimidatingly smart.”
I’m tired of amazing connections being written off because one thing doesn’t immediately “spark” or maybe “someday” someone might want ______insert here_______.
Fear of missing out is bullshit. Cowardice.
I’m a lot, I get it.
I AM ALSO:
Honest to a fault.
I’m good enough to do this.
I’m smart enough to complete that.
I am fucking EXTRAORDINARY.