Monday, April 21, 2008

It Doesn't Hurt

Ever watch a kid with an injury?

They will hover over that wound for days, as if it were the most horrifying, agonozing, torture ever bestowed on a child in the history of the human race. Of course, when they're not thinking about it they're running about and playing with no problem, but bring that injury back to their attention for even a moment and they're instantly in pain once more, limping about and wincing.

Funny, right? Luckily, we adults outgrow such things. Or do we?

I've noticed that the longer anyone expresses an interest in a child's injury, the longer it takes to heal. I've seen kids with parents so over-protective that they've carried on "injuries" for months even though the were fully healed. I've even seen kids who have permanent "issues" for no other reason than they've been told they have such issues. I know a kid whose folks take him out of school for a full week if he sneezes once (no exaggeration!) The poor kid's convinced he has a horribly fragile constitution, even though he's just as hardy as any other kid his age.

Do I have a point here, you ask?

Well, yes. For once I actually do!

See, it's not just parents who can keep injuries in a child's mind far longer than they need to be. We can do that to ourselves. Some of us really were hurt as kids. There were things that happened to us that we couldn't deal with . . . they hurt us so badly that ever after, when anyone even came close to touching those parts of ourselves that had been injured, we'd flinch and pull away before they ever got close. We knew . . . just KNEW . . . the burning agony that would cause. We'd felt it before after all, hadn't we? Best to protect the wound and make sure no one else got close to it. That's the only way to avoid the pain. Seems reasonable, no?

The problem is, if we never touch those wounds again, we never discover that they've healed. the soul, like the body, heals itself you know. (Did you know that? I didn't . . . not for a very long time!) Sheltering your wounds becomes a habit. Fear of the pain from those wounds becomes a part of your brain. Making sure that no one, not even you (maybe ESPECIALLY you!) never touches those wounds becomes so ingrained in you that you never again question it. You are injured - you have ISSUES, damn it! Why can't everyone see that and just leave it the fuck alone??? Why are you all trying to poke at my goddam injuries??? JUST LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!!!!!

Creepy, huh?

It's funny, in a sad kinda way I guess. If your lucky -very lucky- the day comes when you accidentally brush up against your own injuries in the dark. You wander about in the dark room of your own dreams and bang that old injury up against the bedpost of your mind. You wince, doubling up, waiting for the pain, knowing it's going to leave you balled up on the floor, crying like a child once more.

Only it doesn't.

It doesn't hurt at all. You sit there in the dark, a giant cartoon question mark over your head wondering: WTF???? That should be hurting like hell! Why doesn't it hurt? That ALWAYS hurts! That will hurt FOREVER . . . won't it?

Your soul has stolen a march on you. It's gone ahead and healed without you ever knowing it. The terrible wounds are gone and when you look closely, you see the faded pink scars that say it's been healed for a very long time, indeed. Then you are left feeling the fool. You see that you've spent years -maybe decades- protecting something that hasn't needed protecting. Your heroic defenses have been nothing more than your own stupidity; phantom reactions to your own pointless fear. You begin to realize that fear was all it ever really was. Not pain, not really . . . just the ever present fear of pain. You go through a period of cursing yourself for a fool, berating yourself for all the lost time and opportunities your fear cost you. Then -again, if you're lucky- you realize that's just one more trap. Fear of failure, fear of loss, and fear of past deeds are just another mask to hide behind. You realize that today is a new day. You realize you can do anything you want with it, that there's no longer any disability holding you back; imagined or otherwise.

You realize nothing hurts today.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Simple Truths

Sometimes, you run across something that's so well written you can't even try to add to it. This post by a very courageous Lady is simply brilliant. It says everything I'd want to say on a vital subject and more. Please take a few minutes to read it through. It's worth your time, I promise.


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Dull Life

I have this overwhelming urge to write something deep and meaningful for you today. Sadly, I got nothin' . . .

You'll have to settle for some of my usual inane rambling I'm afraid. So what's been going on in my life? (I'm sure you've been simply DYING to know what Jim's been doing with his time!) Not much going on really, I've been working out every day, and doing the usual middle-aged male things: working, taxes, pay bills, watch toob, read a bit . . . I DO have something interesting going on in my life but I can't talk about it yet. Stay tuned though and I'll fill y'all in soon. I promise!

So, I took the Scouts camping this weekend . . . it was the first campout for the new guys who just joined the troop. It was a great trip, but for one thing: one of the new fathers snores. Well, let me correct that: ALL of the new fathers snore - ONE of them makes noises that sound as if an inter-dimensional portal to the torture rooms in the deepest bowels of hell had opened in the back of his throat! I shit you not, folks, I have NEVER heard anyhting like this in my life (and we already have one guy who we've banished to his own tent, with orders to never camp within 100 feet of anyone else!) I had my ears covered by a hat, sleeping bag, bag liner, and my fingers shoved as deep in my ears as they would go and I still couldn't believe how loud this guy was! I finally gave up at about 2:00 a.m., got dressed, and went to sleep in my car. Don't get me wrong, he's a REALLY nice guy and I hope he comes out with the troop all the time . . . but I ain't ever sleeping anywhere near him again! :-)

Anyways, for the most part I'm feelin' mellow lately . . . no major stresses in my life. Of course, I would hardly be me if I didn't have some things that truly pissed me off, but they're all general sorts of things like these:

A Navy Seal is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for throwing himself on a grenade to save the lives of his companions and no major news outlet covers the story.

Six girls beat one girl visciously for over 1/2 hour and one of their mother's blames the victim.

Ya' know . . things of that nature get under my skin and make me yell at the televison set (which The Wife really hates!) The personal stuff is all good though and I'm rnjoying it while it lasts. Lord knows it's only a matter of time until the crazy shows up again!

So, just wanted to stop in and say hi.