Full disclosure: I’m a little bit crabby tonight. I have beefs with last night’s GOT, I’m having my customary inadequacy/packing crisis in advance of an immersion weekend(1), and the endless rainy season we’re having up here in Boston is pissing me off.
So I expect I’m going to be a bit ranty.
Which, I’ll admit, is somewhat richly hypocritical, insofar as the topic that has me feeling most pissed off and ranty tonight is the topic of emotional responsibility.
I don’t know enough about astronomy to blame it on a particular planetary feature or formation, but it seems as if I have been swimming in a current of emotional immaturity and entitlement of late. And I’m trying very hard not to be a judgey bitch about things and instead tap into my sense of compassion.
I am kind of failing at that. (Sort of obvious, since a state of being pissed off and ranty kind of disallows feeling compassionate pretty much by definition.)
What I keep coming back to is a quote that(2) originates with poet and educator Denice Frohman:
Your wound is probably not your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.
Here’s my first attempt at turning that quotation into a pretty meme(3):
You can find post after post after post after post about this basic concept online. In a nutshell, for me, it comes down to carrying a delicate balance of compassion for my own human frailty, my woundedness, while still striving towards unwinding my triggers and frailties rather than expecting the world to be 100% bubble-wrapped for me.
[SIDEBAR. For the record: I do not consider the societal expectation that you refrain from hate speech—racism, misogyny, fat hatred, etc.—to be a “bubble-wrapping” kind of thing, That’s just basic fucking humanity, y’all. /SIDEBAR.]
And yet. In the last 24 hours, I have literally had someone tell me “it was so triggering for me when so-and-so said such-and-such in that way!” And when I suggested that might be a good trigger for her to look at, work on, or learn from, she said “I don’t think it’s my issue to have to deal with.”
Good Gaia, woman, if your own triggers aren’t yours to deal with, then whose job is it?
In another encounter, I ended up on the close sidelines when an acquaintance was basically interrogating someone else–like aggressively asking questions that were based on assumptions rather than actual facts, and repeating those questions rather than listening to the answers. And when I (uncomfortably stuck in the middle) dared to ask if maybe we could stop away from making assumptions, interrogation-moan slapped me down, saying “She [interrogation target] said I could tell her what I was feeling about this all!”
And how, exactly, does you enacting an assumptive interrogation communicate any feeling-state of yours clearly? (Aside from entitlement, I mean.)
It’s enough to drive me around the bend.
Don’t get me wrong. I know I am not perfect at this. (Not. Even. Close.)
But I have been lucky enough to find teachers, especially Apollonia Fortuna and Kristin Sweeting Morelli, who have given me tools and practices to help breathe into my triggers, step out of projections, and feel my emotions and core wounds in such a way as to help the energy clear, rather than just to keep twisting myself into quicksand.
If only gaining these sorts of skills was as much a part of growing up as learning to drive, to cook, or do laundry is for most of us.
(1) Intensive weekend 2 for Mama Gena starts first thing Friday morning!
(2) So far as I can tell.
(3) Well, any quotation, actually. (Thank you, Canva!)
Image credit: Created by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.