I read science fiction. I read science fiction, fantasy romance. It’s my favorite way to find inspiration. I also pretty much only read female authors — (Though I do read Orson Scott Card, having adored his Ender series for those of you who are a bit geeky like me….and Asimov…)
The series of four I’ve just finished, by Lois McMaster Bujold — “The Sharing Knife,” is full of beautiful images, characters and dialogue. I usually forget to write these down, but this time I saved the page numbers, and let’s use them to start talking about things and developing some tools around them.
Reach For lightness, bright spark (the hero of the story calls the heroine “Spark”). You do not betray your sorrow to set it aside for an hour. It’ll be waiting patiently for you to pick it up again on the other side.
Time wears grief smooth like a river stone. The weight will always be there, but it’ll stop scraping you raw at the slightest touch. But you have to let the time flow by; you can’t rush it.
What I love about these is the idea that you don’t have to live by your pain. If you are in pain, you don’t have to haul it around with you everywhere — and you don’t have to give it up, either. It can stay with you as a “weight,” but you can put it down and pick it up at will. You can look forward to an end to the “scraping,” no matter how long you carry the “weight.”
And that, although the pain may feel “dark” – you can still “reach for lightness,” rather than give in to the consistent dark voice.
I think pain adds to our sense of the profoundness of life. It makes us deeper, it makes us feel as though we’re deeper, it makes us feel more deeply, and feel more deeply for others who are in pain. This is not a small thing, or something to be sniffed at or dismissed. It’s something to love yourself even more for, not beat yourself over the head for.
So – some of us make pain our calling card. It may be what links us to other people, what identifies us to ourselves. It may be the identity we go by — “I am a person who comes from pain.”
And some of us stuff down our pain and make ourselves the opposite — the cheery, upbeat, stronger than anything, energizer bunny who looks down on our moments of “weakness” and vulnerability and beats ourselves up for not being able to “move on” whenever we stumble.
Some of us steer ourselves deliberately or subconsciously into pain over and over again, because we’ve been unable to experience and accept our old pain.
And some of us, if we work it out for ourselves, just see pain as part of the picture, and can weave in and out of the experience of pain and joy as if they are experiences to experience — while STILL reaching for the lightness of joy, and PREFERRING the experience of joy just because it FEELS good.
If we’re fortunate this way, we get to hang out in joy much of the time, still with the weight of pain — ours, our loved one’s, the world’s — in our pockets and our hearts just bringing us deeper, but not into darkness. We get to be bigger, this way…more stretched out. Reaching for the light, living in the light, and living in the deeps, too.
I’m already as full of joy for you as my body can hold, and there you go and put more in. Downright wasteful, I say. It’s just going to spill over…
Just a plain-old lovely thing for a man to say to a woman…
He wasn’t sure if it was worse to be loved yet not valued than valued but not loved, but surely it was better to be both.
I thought this was a huge truth about what many of us feel. We felt valued for our contributions, our potential, our abilities — but love always felt conditional that way. And so we keep looking, unaware, for a man who demonstrates this, too — exhibiting our abilities, showing our potential, offering our contributions — and yet yearn to simply be loved — for nothing. Nothing at all. Just because. Just because he loves us.
And…you can have that.
As long as we go around trying to get love by offering our value, we will never believe we are loved for nothing.
Today…try going around being aware of what you’re offering. See what it feels like to offer nothing. See what it feels like to do nothing but respond, and see what happens.
I love you for no reason…I just do. And it makes me happy to love.
A man feels the same way. Believe it, and let me know how it goes.