the only way out is through

I experience difficulty diving into difficult emotions that i’ve already felt I’ve covered. But, I know better than to let that stop me, and I know better than to let the discomfort of the feelings make me mask them. and so I am angry again about issues from the felt sense of my childhood and adolescence. I imagine this is somewhat normal, and if this bout of anger about these nuances of how I perceive I grew up (this is a step up: at least I know that my remembrance is my perception and not necessarily a fact. I’ll take that as a small victory) is anything like the others, once i go through a bit of huffing and puffing, I can settle down, remember everyone is and was doing their best, and recognize that I gained advantages as well as disadvantages from the circumstances.

None of us get through life unscarred. Even the most cared for child is going to interpret this comment or that action as less-than-expected. Coping with this is an essential life skill. It blows my mind that we teach all kinds of bizarre and unnecessary to life stuff in school but basic emotional hygiene is taboo. It’s the stuff parents are supposed to handle, but let’s face it, parenting really could use some instruction, too. Listening to tales from social worker friends about what goes on in families… how do we not set the stage for basic care?

Sitting with all of this, the sources of weird ideas in my own life and the collective trauma of our children worldwide, there is a choice. The choice is between forgiveness and overwhelm. Overwhelm is easy. The problems are big and deep and scary. Our history is riddled with atrocities – and the crazy part is we teach about it in schools but don’t teach how to not repeat it – because shit gets repeated until we intervene. Someone’s got to stop the cycle.

Forgiveness stops cycles. Desmond Tutu talks about forgiveness only coming through truth and honesty about the event. Everyone gets to talk. Everyone gets to walk around the situation and understand it from all of the perspectives. We aren’t exactly comfortable with that in today’s American society. There’s a lot of fingerpointing and blame. That’s not going to last. Responsibility and forgiveness are going to win the day, but it looks to me like it’s going to be a bloody battle until then.

I look at the atrocities the American government has commited against children just in the last 6 months, not to mention the institutionalized oppression that’s been going on consistently. We are traumatizing a generation. My gripes are small in comparison, and the luxury of the safety and support that allows me to look at and reconcile with my stuff isn’t available to everyone. I wonder if I could actively help, somehow working to heal the collective trauma. I’m not sure how yet. I have joined the Business Plan for Peace program to look at exactly this stuff (inner work and outer contribution). I hope it gives me the tools to make a difference in the lives of our children.

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