Humility

I’ve been learning a little about humility lately. Particularly in the category of “things I’ve done while temporarily insane over a messy breakup.”  It’s really weird to have stuff told back to you that you said or did, such as blasting another person on various blogs and Facebook, and not even remember that you did in fact say as much as you’re being told you did. It’s funny because I thought I was being pretty reserved and internal about my anger, only occasionally bursting forth with a profane, insulting remark. Ha! Not so. The problem about being able to express my feelings so well–about enjoying the craft of writing–is that I do it. About everything. And everyone’s fair game. I try not to do it, but yet, it is from life where we draw our best material. I guess I need to learn to open up a document in Word to express my anger instead. Hold it for a day until I’ve come to my senses and choose NOT to post it.

I’ve had a big problem in the past with drinking and typing. A few glasses of alcohol will let shut up those little voices of judgment that keep me at bay. Facebook has been bad for me in this respect too. Sometimes, at a weak moment, I’ll type some status about being depressed. I’ll wake up the next morning after and fear logging in and read my comments.  I’m a pretty honest person; however, there is still a lot of stuff I hold back and keep in. Possibly no one knows the depth of the things I feel, or how much I battle depression. I guess we’re all secretive to a degree.

I feel bad for some of the things I’ve said over the last few months about my ex-boyfriend. I’m sorry about the hurtful things I said that I didn’t really mean even when I typed them. Things like proclaiming it was the biggest mistake I ever made to date him. It’s just that knee-jerk reaction to being hurt. I also used to say–many, many times–that I’d rather have never met my husband than to have loved him and lost him. I didn’t mean that either. I thought I did at the time, when I wanted to scream in the faces of everyone who dared to contritely say, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.” I would look them in the face, deadpan, and repeat Tom Lee Jones’ reply to this same quip in the movie Men in Black, “Try it sometime.”

The reality is,  it’s true that it’s better to have loved and lost. But no one grieving–from widowhood, divorce, or a bad breakup–really wants to be reminded of this truth. When the pain is raw, you’ll wish anything to make it stop, even, sometimes, the loss of years’ worth of memories. To love someone is to be stung by love in one way or another. Most people realize this, I suppose. The sacrifice you make for love is allowing yourself to become vulnerable to the loss of love. And everyone loses love, no matter how great that love, because we all die. Is it worth it? Most people say yes. But not when they’re still reeling from the last loss.

I’m a sensitive person. Things affect me deeply. I’d say that things affect me more deeply than others, but I honestly don’t know how others feel. Perhaps they hide it better. Perhaps they’re better at hiding it from themselves. I’m no good at keeping my emotions in check. I’ve been known to cry openly in a crowd of people when humiliated by someone–a coworker, even. It sure doesn’t make me look good, but I can’t hold back. When I’m angry, I guess I can’t hold back either. At least my anger is only violent with words. I know that’s not really any better… words hurt just as bad as being hit… and sometimes the damage they cause lasts far longer than any bruise or broken bone. Especially when they can be read over the internet and things on the internet seem to have problems disappearing. (It’s a brave new world where the voices of dead people still speak on news groups, MySpace, and Facebook long after they are gone. I found recently through Google a comment Mike had posted to years ago on a user list for the programming tool he taught.)

My anger at my ex-boyfriend disappeared like the helium gushing from a popped balloon. I was busting at the seams with seething anger and then the next moment, in an explosion of sanity, it was all released. I just wanted to talk to him and forget the whole last five months had ever happened. In some ways, it was like waking from a weird dream where everything was the opposite of the truth. So when I find evidence of my emotional collapse–or when he recalls to me some of the things I’ve said about him over the last few months–I feel kind of embarrassed. Whoops. Did I really say all that stuff? I can read the evidence for myself and at the same time feel as though I don’t even know where the then-me was coming from. When the anger escaped me, it all just vanished without a single trace of it left in my system. I’m good now. I’ve returned from the Dark Side of the Force, asking for redemption. Please and thank you.

Since I am a person of questionable faith, I always return to the wisdom of Master Yoda to guide me. (For I am a Jedi Knight and the Force is my ally!)

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. This is the path to the Dark Side.

It’s the truth. I find it no coincidence that I was so depressed over the winter. I lost a good friend. I was angry at a good friend. I suffered. It sucked. I’m totally done letting these things eat me up inside. And, apparently, I’m incapable of being forever angry at someone. It’s true when they say that it takes more energy to hate than to love. However, a sacrifice is required to love. Emotions are just plain complicated.

It takes humility to admit that you were maybe wrong about something. (Not about the original offense, but with how you expressed your feelings in the aftermath of it.) I’m used to eating crow, though. Do it all the time thanks to my big mouth (or my rather quickly typing hands and my word-crafting brain). I apologize to all involved for making them feel as though they were in the middle of some bloody battlefield. Except on this battle field, one side was firing bullets while the other side held up a peace flag. (They gave a war and only one side came?)

I feel like some aspects of my life are back on track again. It’s good to be able to talk to Michael again. It’s good to hang out and drink wine and ride my bike with him (which I’ve only done on TOSRV so far due to an overwork injury on my knee). I think we’ve both come to a point now where we can actually be friends. And that is good. It’s good to be sane again. One more drama over… (With more to come, I’m sure…)

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3 thoughts on “Humility

  1. Humility is a good thing, and I think it’s part of being an adult to be able to admit when you’re wrong.

    But I hope that your friendship with Michael can move forward without dwelling on the things either or you said or thought in the aftermath of a break up. That is not a time that really shows anyone at their best.

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