It’s been a rough month — surgery ended up being the part of this journey that knocked me down hard. There was hard to manage pain and loss and my typical post-holiday let-down. Also there was the body issue stuff. I’ve worked so hard in my body-image resilience but life keeps throwing me curve balls. I got use to protecting myself by thinking of my body as an instrument not an ornament, but then all the sudden it was cut and broken and not doing much for me instrument or ornament wise.
I kept waiting for the silver lining to poke through but a month and a half later I’m forced to admit that sometimes life sucks and despite the trying your best and the meals from friends and the love from family and the joy in your kids eyes you find yourself in a dark place hoping against hope it will somehow be better soon.
As I was in this low point I read a post from my friend @thecouplestherapist about the power of being able to sit with people in their dark moments. He said, “For loved ones trying to help, it can seem counterintuitive to join in the discomfort rather than rescue from it. I think there is a fear that if we don’t snap them out of it, they — and our connection with them— will plummet further. But often the very thing keeping them from the plunge is you being there in it with them.” This thought helped me calm down and allow myself to sit in my own pain for a bit.
And maybe that is a little bit of the silver lining after all: that in facing our scarring situations we learn to be a little more compassionate, a little less judgmental, a little more able to sit with someone in their dark. After all, we all carry our scars — right now I’m sporting some pretty mangy obvious ones — but they aren’t the only ones I’ve carried in my life. I’ve walked through life with the scars of anxiety and depression; with the debilitating scars of self-hate and perfectionism. We each have our hard moments. But if I can come away from all this more aware of the scars of others and a little better able to help at least I will have made a little light out of the dark that I sit in now.