I traveled to Portland this past week. It was faboo. Have you been? So much natural beauty in Oregon! We drove out to the coast and stopped in the mountains along the way. Wow. There's a kind of rock in the mountain stream, it looks like clay caked into a solid mass. When the rock hits another rock, it splays into several parts like a puzzle piece. Great fun to throw rocks and put hands in water to feel the chilly stream. I felt so much peace and love as I gazed at the pine trees that towered above us.
My nephew lives in that area. He's a teeny thing right now, barely four years old. I don't know him well since we haven't spent much time around each other. So I felt surprised by the love that I felt for him as we sat at dinner. He asked me to draw with him, and I happily obliged with a teddy bear on his paper. Warm love gushed from my chest toward him as he laughed because the bear was upside down. What a cutie pie.
My sister and her husband are going through some challenges right now. I won't go into great detail since it's their conundrum to deduce. It was kind of difficult to sit with them and hear the same lines of logic that I heard as I grew to this point. My sister brought up my mom and said, "So you're not speaking with her right now?" It's true, I'm not speaking with her because she's unable to respect me. Only, I didn't form those words because... well... I was so tired when I saw them, and it was awkward because we hadn't hung out in a couple of years. So my words coalesced in a different manner. I managed to eek out that I'd tried a solo lunch and then brought my partner to another gathering. I explained that my mom was all, "Ohh, my son!" to my partner even though that was the first time she'd met him. I was trying to explain how hurtful it was that she wouldn't treat me as an individual. But the message didn't seem to make it into comprehension. My sister and her husband advised me to, "smile and nod," and then they both went into stories about how much they smiled and nodded through countless situations before they moved to another state.
Later, by myself, I cried. I do want things to work in my family, and I can't ignore blatant disrespect anymore. I won't smile and nod my way through hurt now. I think my sister and brother in law were trying to help me by telling me how they handled the awkward. What it amounted to was that one asked me why I did something, I explained, and then they both advised me to handle the situation in their ways. So I felt somewhat unheard. I got quiet and looked askance. When my sister said that my mom had emailed her and my other sister to tell them the news, I said that I was glad she reached out for assistance. On the whole, it was invigorating to spend time with my family. Instead of running from the awkward or trying to make it not be there by drinking a lot of alcohol, I felt it. I imagine we all felt it. I love all of them so much and don't want anyone to hurt, and I can't save any of us from natural human pain and weirdness.
Indeed, the pain and weirdness are part of a full life. Dabrowski's theory of positive disintegration suggests that these experiences can propel us into full development. When we choose to embrace our inner crazy and wild with love and respect, we allow ourselves the richness of life.
Well hello there.