My readers. My friends. I love you so darn much!! I cannot tell you how much your words, interpretations and commentary have meant to me. Four of a Kind nominated the two-parter about Deepak Chopra on Stirrup Queens as the best post(s) she had read during the week, but your comments are, of course, the main reason why. Here’s what she said:
What struck me as much or more about these two posts, as well written as they are, is the awesome discussion going on in the comment sections of both posts! JJiraffe’s readers have done an amazing job trying to help our friend make sense of and process all of this.
She could not be more right. I have been thinking about what you have said all week. A few notes: I have been diagnosed with anemia, so I am now taking an iron supplement. It will take up to six weeks to work, but I hope it will help me deal with my energy issues. The consensus is that Esperanza’s interpretation of Deepak Chopra’s words seems to be dead on. (She’s so scholarly and wise!) I want to understand more about Buddhist tenets, so I will be reading a few books recommended. More on this later.
I think it is no coincidence that so many in the infertility community seem to gravitate to Buddhist teachings. I personally feel like American culture has no interest in explaining, focusing on or shedding a light on those have gone through hardship. The focus is all on the beginnings: the magical courtships (with comical misunderstandings), the engagements (hubby-to-be drops on one knee in Paris at midnight on the Pont Neuf, cue the Van Morrison), the perfect weddings. (Like mine ;0 ) Grabbing the brass ring in your career, after an easy climb. Giving birth to your children. (In a funny but not scary way.) AND repeat, with your own children as the protagonists. There are few stories I can think of where the focus is on the middle. And most of us are in the middle. The middle is anti-climatic, hard, repetitive, tragic, filled with everyday drudgery. The joys are not as big. They are not in your face like a Vera Wang gown. They are smaller, harder to grasp. That doesn’t mean they are not as meaningful. But we have not been taught to think that they are. I get the mid-life crisis now. When you are in the midst of learning how hard life is, the urge to escape, through silly purchases like a sports car, a toupee, comic books: I totally get it now.
The problem is, the vast majority of people I am surrounded with IRL haven’t received “The Call”, and only know about the Happy Endings we demand as our due in life.
What is “The Call”? “The Call” is a brilliant phrase used by Wordgirl. I’ll let her explain:
I talk about it with X, G’s ex-wife, whose mother died unexpectedly when X was in her late twenties — and up until then her life had been relatively smooth sailing, so to speak — but after that call — it all changed.
She and I will talk about people who we perceive as seeming to guide their children through life without envisioning the worst of what can happen — and she’ll say “it’s because they’ve never had the call” — Whatever the call may be — whatever moment that shakes your worldview — it can be profound.
I know this will change, and as I get older, there will be none of my contemporaries left who WON’T have received “The Call”. I don’t want people to get “The Call” either. It’s just that I have a hard time, right now, relating to people who haven’t gotten “The Call”.
I know I’m not alone. Several bloggers have written about this, this week, like Mommy Odyssey and Esperanza. Both movingly write of their strong identification with “bloggy friends” and how communication has become so much harder with non-blogging friends. I so get this. Y’all have gotten “The Call”. I don’t have to educate you about why what I have been through sucks. You’ve been through similar and worse. And you have wisdom that is actually applicable to my situation. No one would DARE tell me to “just relax” or “just adopt” on here
But, I have to exist in the world of non-bloggy friends, too. I need some coping techniques to strengthen my relationships with people who surround me physically. I need to remember what I was like before I received “The Call”: naive, confident, full of helpful “assvice”. I did not mean harm and truly wanted to help friends suffering, and I said some of the dumbest things. Before. I know that the people who surround me IRL want to help me too.
So, back to Deepak Chopra, again. He said something helpful in my reading:
Judgment is the constant evaluation of things as right or wrong, good or bad. When you are constantly evaluating, classifying, labeling, analyzing, you create a lot of turbulence in your internal dialogue.
Boy, is that right on. I totally judge. Before I judged people about superficialities like what they read and what restaurants they liked. (Also, whether they were kind or good people, so you don’t think I was a total poop.) Now I judge people based on how they react to whatever problem I reveal (not that I reveal most of the crap I’ve been dealing with), which is unfair too.
So my homework: judge less. Be thankful that most people I know haven’t received “the Call”, and understand that they are in a bubble that hasn’t been popped. And maybe, also, some people I know have received “The Call” and are hiding it. Also, maybe some people are just jerks? Just kidding!!
Do you tend to judge people in your life who haven’t received “The Call” and say upsetting things? How do you let go of your judgement?