Here’s something I know for sure, as I sit there in your space, in your world, it is the space in between everything that counts. The space between the glances that say everything, the space between the words that you say, and the words that you don’t, the space between the beds, the space between what I want to say, and what I actually say.
We talk about Eurovision, and writing, and life. I tell you about work and research and teaching. But underneath it all, not-so-deeply hidden, are the things that hang in the space between us. There they sit, like electricity, like a thing so real you could reach out and grab it with your hands, cradle it gently, shape it into something that looks like forever.
I want to tell you what I have learned about the world, what I know, what I’ve seen. But I know you need to see that for yourself. I want to see into the recesses of that world that I can understand too well, but not well enough.
I want to tell you what I told your mother, because it is the one thing I know to be true, you have to find it within you. Nobody else can be your light. You have to shine from within. Otherwise you are always just sitting in the dark waiting for someone to rock up with a torch. And when they leave? It’s just dark again. People tell me I shine. That’s because I found my light. But I won’t let people use me as a torch. That’s the other side to it. Making any other person your whole reason for being, for not being, for feeling and acting, that’s not fair on them. People are only people. We’re human. We all get it wrong, we all stuff up. Nobody can be your everything, because they will fail. That’s human nature. And by making them your everything you are just setting both of you up for the fall.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is simply that. I have a voice. I am powerful. I am real and I am in control. Nobody makes me feel anything. I choose to feel it, or I don’t. Nobody makes me do, or not do, anything. I make my own choices around my actions, and even my reactions, and I own those. I don’t believe the words “you made me angry” mean anything at all. No. I didn’t. I acted. I did something. It may or may not have been connected with you. Then you made a choice around that. Consciously, or subconsciously, it hardly matters, you decided to interpret my actions in a particular way. To take them on board, and then to feel a certain way about them. But you have ALL the power. I didn’t MAKE you feel angry. I just did something in the world. You chose the anger. And you can choose not to feel that.
The same is true of guilt. I have tried to explain this to her before. She asked “but how do I not feel guilty?”. The answer? I don’t really know, just one day you realise that you hold all the cards. That you are choosing to feel that way about something. That all actions, reactions, things in the world, are all just things. They don’t come with poisonous barbs that can penetrate your inner emotional psyche. You let them. You let them in, you choose the feelings, and then you sit in them. Allow them to consume you until they eat your shadow.
I won’t do that any more. I don’t do that. I make conscious choices around how I feel about things. Sometimes I have a feeling surface that I feel bad about, guilt, anger, sadness. What do I do? I OWN it. I am feeling this feeling. I will acknowledge that it is MY feeling, and mine alone. I will feel it, for a little while, then I will let it go, because I don’t like it, and I choose not to sit in that state. But my feelings are my own. I won’t give up my power. This is the main thing I have learned.
So take some time to find your light. Take your power back. Own your feelings. They are yours. Be your own lighthouse. Don’t wait for some random to rock up with a torch. Not only could you be waiting a bloody long time, but torches run on batteries, and random people are unreliable. Your light is eternal. Once you find it, you’ll never need a torch again.
Editor’s Note: I came back to blog after a long hiatus to leave this message. I hope it will make a difference out there. I’m back to public settings. Nice to see you all after so long. I am on practicum again for teaching starting next week, then I hope to revamp the site with some new colours and let you know what I’ve been up to. I hope you’re all well. I miss my blog family.