October 13, 2007

Looking for the arbiter of justice?

Something a friend said to me yesterday is really sticking with me today. She and I were discussing my need to defend myself when feeling attacked and manipulated, when someone is bombarding you with re-written versions of a shared history that (of course) exonerate themselves from any responsibility. She put it to me plainly: I am not god and I am not Wonder Woman. I am not the arbiter of justice. I never have been and never will be. Let the burden of that fall on someone else's shoulders. My atheist friend then suggested that I pray.
It's funny how my friend and I are able to bring into focus for each other the things that are so blurry to us in our own relationships. It's no coincidence that we've both struggled with abandonment issues and feel a tremendous sense of guilt when we have to make healthy choices that cut us off from people we care about. She says it's because when we were children, we didn't have the choice to ever leave — being dependent on the dysfunctional adults that had to care for us. But what gets to me even more is the fact that if I can (healthily) choose to walk away from a relationship, couldn't that have been the same choice that others made when they in turn walked away from me? I have come to accept that my mother's leaving when I was a child was a desperate act of self-preservation on her part. But the little girl inside still takes that personally.
I don't have the answers and I'm not always sure how to proceed. For now, I am taking my friend's advice and praying. I've done a good amount of healing in the past few years and I have a lot of faith that everything that happens in my life is exactly what I need. And I am so overwhelmingly grateful for the many blessings in my life, I can't help but want to focus my energy on the things that bring me light rather than add to the darkness. And I have found that it is the light that brings the most healing, not combating the darkness. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness, right? I've spent years wading through the darkness and you know what, it doesn't do any good. And for once, I'm happy to realize that the burden isn't mine. I am god and I am not Wonder Woman.


vegan.mama said...

Oh, boy, this is what I needed to read today (and what I wrote about on my blog, too!)...here's something my therapist said to me that has been helping a lot: unhealthy people hurt others impersonally; that is, they don't care if you are their daughter, their girlfriend, a chair, or a couch. They lash out and hurt and then leave without any regard for the stimulus -- and so I'm guessing your mom left the chair and the couch just as much as she left you; it wasn't self-preservation FROM you that she was seeking, it was escape from HERSELF. Either way, though, someone else causing you pain because of their own sickness has nothing to do with you. [And I am saying that out loud just as much for myself as I am for you right now...]

May we continue to light candles rather than wallow in darkness. As for me, I'm going to continue praying for help in the morning and out of gratitude at night. Really, what else can we do?

il siciliano di francia said...