Saturday, August 18, 2007


I had an encounter with someone recently in which I told them what I thought, and they took it as that I was being mean. The truth is, the truth can hurt if it's something you don't want to see about yourself. Humans can be masters of denial. You have to be fully committed to truth in all of its forms if you want to be truly an emotionally healthy human being- including having the courage to see yourself for how others perceive you, even if it's not what you think you are, or how you wish to be perceived. We are masters of delusion.

I try to speak the truth in love, and am learning when not to speak, instead of "all the time" as I used to believe I should do. During the situation, I was calm, and the other person was what I'd call "freaking out" but what others my call agitated, upset, stressed. It was apparent from the moment I picked up the phone. It had become a regular state of being. I mentioned it, and said I thought the person needed counseling. This may seem harsh, but it affected my children.

So then after I made that decision to speak, I read something in Utne Reader that was like a sign from God, from the Universe, whatever, that I was on the right track. It was an article called "Out of the Drink" by Tess Gallagher, and was originally published in the Sun. In it, she is writing about her experience with an alcoholic friend, to whom she spoke up about his denial. She writes, "I guess all the havoc I've seen alcohol cause made me unwilling to play the denial game. When the spades fall, I call them what they are. It's the kindest thing to do. I recommend this kind of boldness or effrontery - whatever you want to call it - because although it won't always succeed, it might, and it is this chance that makes it worth the risk." Her friend, in the article, checked himself into rehab the next week.

Monday I leave for Oregon, and from there Dad and I will drive to Glacier National Park. I'm excited to see him. Glacier is in Montana, on the border with Canada. I booked my flight to Nepal also!! I will be there in the first half of November. Woohoo! I am trying to see all the continents in the next couple of years (after Nepal I only have Europe and Africa to go - unless you count Antarctica). I have a writer friend who I was emailing about my dilemma - to go or not - because of the costs versus the payoffs from writing gigs. She said GO, and enjoy. Her sister died young, and yet when she was sick it brought her joy to remember all the travels she'd done. I've always been sort of obsessed with death. I'm both scared of it, and not afraid of it. But I know that life is short, and I want to be able to say that I lived fully, and loved fully (even if that love was not always requited) and that I took the time for my friends. I think that finally in my last few years I am living up to this. And yet I am always reminded of my own imperfections as I continue to try to become a better person. I hope only that my friends and family will always be as forgiving and patient as I know the good Lord is as he smiles on us all with such love at our human foibles.

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