Monday, February 8, 2016

porcupine teddy bears

I never seem to have the right words when I need them. That's what I like about writing. I can mull the sentence over in my mind until the message is just as I want it.

There were a few times lately when the right words might have helped a friend, or at least not validate his rumination. He lamented that he was having a hard time because of anniversaries of traumatic events. Instead of asking him what he's doing about moving forward with his life and not letting memories control his mood, I just grunted. We can get stuck in events in the past and not realize that it is our choice as to when to let them go. We can grasp them like a porcupine teddy bear, a sort of comfort coming from familiarity, forgetting that each replay is damaging us. Isn't it better to look that memory in the eye and tell it to go away, that it has no power over you anymore.

I'm not saying that these anniversaries should never be looked at, but perhaps instead of wallowing in misery it is a good time to review where you've gone with your life and if you aren't happy with the answer, put some thought into how you might do better. I wish there was some way that I could help my friend get through this.

I think that I have done this rather successfully, although there are still some events that swirl emotion in my gut. The one that comes to mind is the morning my cat, Puff, was hit by a car. 'Puff the Magic Dragon' still chokes me up, but it doesn't grab me by the ankle and pull me down into the murky depths for days. Maybe I'm being idealistic and since I'm not talking from real experience, (I haven't lost a close loved one or been divorced), I may not know what I'm saying. Or, were there other traumatic events in my life and I've processed and dismissed them already?

"Bring the past only if you are going to build from it.”  ~Doménico Cieri Estrada