Reflections bring insight. At the end of a singularly significant year, we should all be gazing into the depths with a particularly inward focus. What exactly have we learned from what has transpired? How have the past nine months transformed what we thought was the truth? Is it really the truth? Or has everything changed?
I’m a hermit. That’s my essential nature. Maybe being born in the sign of the crab isn’t as strange as I’d always thought it seemed to be. This past year has revealed, more than anything, that I need to be unencumbered and free to roam. Even if, for most of the past fifty years, I’ve been completely wrapped up in other people. This year I’ve come to realize that I’ve been trying to escape for a lot longer than I’d ever realized.
I carry around a broken shell. All around there are sharp edges and it tends to deeply cut anyone who gets too close. And yet, I have been almost unaware of those wounds I’ve inflicted. People I’ve loved, even my children, have been sliced and diced as I’ve flailed about in my ignorance of my true self.
And yet, I feel deeply, the pain all around me. But it’s as if it comes from some other source instead of my own blind self-deception. I look around though, and see that almost everyone is suffering the same kind of myopia. The whole world is in excruciating agony but we each deny our own and attempt to fill another’s empty cup from our own completely drained well.
I can’t help but to believe that maybe this is the human condition. The inability to face the hard truths. To admit our own weaknesses and forgive those who undoubtedly have similar but completely different frailties. In our headlong effort to be “perfect” humans, we ignore the imperfections of all those around us while at the same time holding them up as the very judge and jury of our own insecurities. And of course, they are all the while, comparing their own failures to the perfect humans they’ve envisioned us as being.
Maybe it’s time to admit that none of us really has a fucking clue what we’re doing. Yes, we’re all winging it, all the time. Sometimes we manage to pull off amazing things. Other times we leave the people we love crying in a car and wondering what the hell brought THAT about. I’ve done both. Sometimes sorry has been enough. All too often it hasn’t. I’d be willing to bet you’ve done the same.
Carry into the new year the grace to forgive those you love for all the things you’ve done to them. With any luck, they’ll return the favor.