Day Fourteen – 25 days of compassion

Falling-Stars

Oops. Missed a day.

I started this series as much for others to read and glean something good about life in the midst of all the bad stuff we stumble across as I did to keep myself focused and positive about things going on in my life. It’s not always easy to find those little nuggets of good every day. It’s much easier to just focus on the stuff pulling me in a thousand different directions.

My good moment yesterday came late in the day and I almost missed it. I was almost too preoccupied to stop and enjoy the moment … and once I realized it for what it was, it made me happy and sad all rolled into one. I’ve been avoiding it all day because I didn’t want to cry again. I didn’t want to remember because it hurts too much.

I know. How can compassion hurt?

You see, a few months back I became friends with someone online. In the midst of my messed up stress filled world our conversations became the highlight of my day, a place I was myself, a place where I didn’t pretend or think about anyone else or worry about what I was facing the next day. I wasn’t a mom or a wife or a daughter or a caretaker. I was just Erin.

In those moments I got to dream and think and enjoy things just for me for the first time in years. Astronomy, photography, writing, farming … all of my passions … we talked about it all and more. I learned things that he knew about the oil industry, about life, that I didn’t know before. I taught him about goats and rabbits. We exchanged writing. He was the first person in years that I’ve let see the real me.

But sharing one’s soul is a hard thing to do and reality crept in. All those responsibilities loomed over me, all that being a wife and mother and daughter and caretaker crushed whatever soul I’d found. Pushed it back into the crevices of my heart. It hurt too much to keep feeling and thinking and dreaming, to hope for something I couldn’t have. So, I built a wall hard and fast in an attempt to protect myself. I didn’t know what else to do.  We quit communicating. Everything went to hell.

So last night there were shooting stars everywhere. Big and beautiful in the crisp clear night sky. I climbed up on that wall I built and watched them, sucked them into my soul, let myself feel like a child again, fascinated by the world … by the stars … like I did in the midst of all those conversations with my friend.

A tiny piece of compassion for myself.

But bittersweet because I don’t feel like I deserve it. All I did was end up hurting everyone … myself included. I’ve hidden behind the wall for so long … it will take someone stronger than me to pull me out and hang on.

 

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