I Sat With It

“I understand with love comes pain, but why did I have to love so much?” – Unknown

To the many individuals that have been emailing me and those that haven’t but have been wondered, I can assure you I wrote my daughter back. In fact, I wrote her several times.

It is my nature to confirm receipt of a message and inform the sender that I received it but don’t have time or emotional fortitude to respond at the time. I feel this is incredibly important with painful, emotionally loaded, email exchanges as a lack of confirmation can be easily construed as either passive aggressive or angry or worse. I did not want her to ever think I was ignoring her or that I was angry.

I took several days to process her email (and I shared and talked with many of you) and eventually I decided to not respond. I don’t mean not respond in the sense of sending nothing. I mean in the sense that I felt it was best just to say "I heard you. Your feelings are valid. Thank you for trusting me with them".

I did not get the sense she wanted any direction, input, commentary or disagreement from me. She merely wanted me to see the degree of her angst and how conflicted she is.

I saw it.

I could have responded and debated her. I could have challenged her on some of her statements. I could have gone round and round with her. But to what end? For what purpose? To prove I am right and she is wrong? To get her to like me more? To make my point and have her see me? To invalidate her? To tell her how clueless she is on some things? No good would come of any of that.

She has her reality and I have mine. I am as entitled to mine as she is to hers. Its challenging at best that they are so vastly different but it is reality.

Furthermore, and probably most importantly, I deeply felt that responding in depth would be like walking into emotional quicksand. I could have wiggled and screamed and jiggled only to sink deeper and faster. My debating her feelings or challenging them would only make things worse.

No quicksand for me.

In summary, I took the Oriah Mountain Dreamer approach (and I quoted this passage from The Invitation in my response to her).  Specifically:

"I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it."

I sat with her pain and did my best not to hide, fade or fix it.

Only time will tell if I took the right approach.

7 Thoughts.

  1. Suz: I have thought about your last post a lot. After reading this one, I agree you have made the right choice of words and you worked with what you had.
    Perhaps in time, who knows. I imagined myself in her position what can be said. That pendulum swinging and swaying. Its tough and complex. If the emails keep coming its the best for now.
    My best and my prayers to.

  2. I don't know what her letter said Suz but it sounds like you gave it great thought and care and did what was best under the circumstances. It is SO difficult to know what to do or even not do. This I understand well.

  3. Right on! Having stepped into emotional quicksand many times myself and paid dearly for it, I applaud your taking the higher ground, acknowledging your daughter’s thoughts and feelings without feeling compelled to jump into a debate. I wish I had had your wisdom when I was faced with similar communications.

  4. I think this was a marvelous response Suz.
    More than anything – a response such as this is what’s required more often than not – I believe.
    Hugz, Poss. xxxxx

  5. must hurt like hell, but you are strong, brave and courageous. and yes, you have your reality and are entitled to it, as is she. you are growing in this process. thinking of you…

  6. I don’t know what her email said but having also sunk into the quicksand myself on occasion, sounds like you did the right thing.

  7. Oh Suz. I have been thinking of you a lot and my heart is just aching for you. You are a very strong woman.

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