Over the last few years my nervous system and heart have been finally, truly unlearning the ingrained patterns of "worst nightmares often come true" and "settling for dysfunction is my only option".
But I'm still a newbie at this stuff. This past week has been really, really hard for me. Those old patterns have been fighting, tooth and nail to be the loudest voices in the room again. I've had to dig deep, really deep. I've had to continually put myself face to face, mirror to mirror, with the loving people I choose to keep close to me to remember that I don't choose dysfunction anymore and that personal, radical evolution is a possible alternative to worst nightmares coming true.
And truly, what I've had to remember to remember is that I AM surrounded by a partner and friends that see and love me for who I am, as I also do for them. We are not here to destroy each other. But, we ARE armed with tools. Tools that keep us from sliding too far backwards into misunderstanding and relational hell and tools that help us face conflict in service of learning. In short, we are here to See each other with a capital S, to help each other grow, and to love each other.
I am a helluva skeptic and a well-practiced cynic. But apparently this stuff is for real. And I know it's rare. The best part, and the reason I post tonight, is that as I've been listening to the voices online and in the media over the last few months, I want to say that I do not forget: I know where I started and I remember how I got here. I remember, too, that before I got a sample of this, I thought it was unrealistic and perhaps even fake.
We as a country have some serious work to do. And I know that many will never do it. But I do believe that at least for those who choose it and want it: it is doable. Conflict resolution and healthy, satisfying (even ecstatic!) relationship is doable and learnable.
So that's what I got tonight. And I'd love to still keep getting all your beautiful mirrors in these next weeks, as I'd be happy to give back to you.