Looking back; composure

Looking back, a year later today, I can see why it was time to separate from Kali.  I don’t feel any better about the manner in which the separation occurred.  From this distance, I can say, “Yeah, something wasn’t quite right.”  So often, I observe that the problems are not what ultimately leads to the end of a relationship.  The deeper reason is that at least one of the participants has decided that the effort to continue addressing issues, to keep reaching for the other, is no longer worth it.  From this distance, it feels like she didn’t even try.

A year ago I had just started therapy – thank goodness.  When I next spoke to my therapist all I really had to say about it was, “I haven’t cried. I probably won’t. I just feel angry.”  I still haven’t. I probably still won’t. The anger is fading. It is and was “disbelief” anger. “Are you kidding me!?” anger. “UNBELIEVABLE.” anger.

If there were one word that would most closely define the way my soul has expressed itself through this human vehicle, “composed” would have to be it. I try so hard to keep my composure. Whether the subverted emotion is anger, desire, sorrow, or frustration, my tendency in the latter half of my life to this point has been to cement my facial features into as blank an expression as possible, to use cool words and logic to get myself to a point in an exchange where I can exit.  Get myself to a safe distance where no one can hear me let it all out. Never EVER show how angry or hurt I am. Dismayed, maybe. Discontent, definitely. Never let the root emotion seep out.

Composure is what got me through so much of my association to Kali. Sometimes by the skin of my teeth.

Yet it only takes me so far. If the offense is too great or the pressure to high, composure won’t hold.  And that’s when each of you has seen the worst of me. You have, I know.

So maybe composure is the thing that I want to let go of during this turn of the wheel. It may have served to help me smooth out relations with others in the past, especially when I am a neutral party moderating peace negotiations. When it comes to my own safety, my desires and the organization and maintenance of my holistic wellness, I think this lifetime of stoicism has not served my highest good.

Bear with me, if you can, as I practice allowing the fullness of my feelings to emerge. I will be taking brave steps to say what I mean, to express myself in the moment rather than long after the dust has settled. I will pursue the skills required to treat others with respect as I also foster self respect. This will mean opening myself more to hurt, and accepting responsibility for words and actions that may inadvertently hurt others’ feelings. The fact that others’ feelings may be hurt as an unfortunate casualty of either my learning process or bold adherence to my convictions.

That. Right there. Is the worst of it.

Remember: we are all trying to do right by each other. Hurling through space on this wobbly rock, trying to get goddess knows where. Trying (and mostly failing) to make the world a just and loving place. Keep trying to do better. That’s the direction in which I am confidently wandering.

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